Jurgen Klopp has praised Everton’s ‘perfect summer’ of recruitment ahead of Liverpool’s trip to face the league leaders in the Merseyside derby this weekend.
Liverpool travel the short distance across Stanley Park to face their city rivals at Goodison Park tomorrow lunchtime in what shapes as one of the most intriguing derby clashes in recent seasons, Everton heading into the clash in confident mood after winning each of their four fixtures to sit top of the division.
The club have backed manager Carlo Ancelotti in the transfer market with a number of exciting additions and Klopp has praised the Italian and the ‘perfect business’ conducted by Everton during the summer window, believing the Toffees have signed the ideal players to take them to the next level.
“What I think about Carlo Ancelotti was never a secret. I couldn’t respect him more. He’s a wonderful human being,” Klopp told the BBC.
“When I heard he was going to sign for Everton I thought ‘Uhhh, the next proper challenger in line’.
“They did the perfect business in the summer. They found exactly the players that they needed to improve an already pretty good football team.
🇨🇴 James v Salah 🇪🇬
🇧🇷 Richarlison v Mané 🇸🇳
🏴 DCL v Firmino 🇧🇷
The most highly-anticipated Merseyside derby in years!
Everton 🆚 Liverpool | Saturday, 11.30am | BT Sport 1 HD pic.twitter.com/qySCMfd70k
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 13, 2020
“Together, getting more used to what Carlo wants them to do makes them a pretty strong team.”
Key to Everton’s success has also been the improved form of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the forward currently the joint-leading scorer in the Premier League following a prolific start to the season.
The 23-year-old’s improved performances also saw him earn a first call-up to the England squad during the international break – scoring on his senior debut against Wales – and Klopp is well aware of the threat posed by the in-form star and a new-look forward line containing the likes of Richarlison and James Rodriguez.
“Calvert-Lewin, I really expected him to make big steps in the next few years and he did,” said Klopp.
“He has everything you need in a top striker: size, mobility, speed, desire, technically really, really good, in the air, finishing with his head, both feet.
“And now it all works together – both wings have top-class players with James and Richarlison. Midfield, Allan plus whoever plays there, if it’s Sigurdsson or whoever.
“So it’s a really, really good team and the last line works better because in a good team it’s easier to defend. That’s what you see when you watch Everton, so it will be a really interesting game.”