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Chelsea: Lampard reacts to Klopp’s ‘oligarchs’ transfer criticism

Mohamed Salah's hat trick propelled Liverpool past newly promoted Leeds United in a season-opening instant classic at Anfield.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says he found it “slightly amusing” when he heard Jurgen Klopp complain that Liverpool can’t spend like Chelsea and Man City (Watch live at 3:15 pm ET, online via Peacock).

Klopp was talking about Liverpool’s lack of summer spending and inferred those rivals when he said “some clubs” don’t need to worry about the future because they are “owned by countries, owned by oligarchs.”

[ MORE: Full Brighton - Chelsea preview ]

Lampard points out that while Liverpool hasn’t spent big in the past two seasons, it has spent plenty.

Praising Liverpool for its success, Lampard explained his position:

“It’s a fantastic story of a club that have managed to get recruitment right to a really high level. You can go through the Liverpool players - Van Dijk, Alisson, Fabinho, Keita, Mane, Salah - incredible players that came at a very high price.

“The really smart thing they have done is believe in their coach and system for a number of years. It’s a great story, but it’s story that has seen money spent on players. What we’ve done is come off the back of a ban and tried to address the situation to improve.”

He’s not wrong in a handful of ways. The major one is if, and it’s a big if, Chelsea have used this window to set themselves up for the future the way the Reds did over 3-4 years. Klopp is riding out the primes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino while hoping he can develop some youth into the replacements. Then and only then will he splash big cash... and that makes sense.

To be fair to Lampard, even the oft-deployed “used the Coutinho money” rationale should include the note that the club sold him on January 8 after spending $170 million on Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the summer and earlier in January. And by that logic does Chelsea get to say it’s been spending Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard money? That said, Chelsea has religious had a $200 million plus outlay the past few years regardless of sales (which happens when you change coaches like Neymar changes boots).

What the Reds should absolutely be praised for above many other clubs is making the price tags boom on many of their veteran assets and “failed” prospects while also succeeding in making their big buys pop. Liverpool profited $15 million on Danny Ings, at least that much with Dominic Solanke, and around $10 million for Mamadou Sakho. If you want to cherry pick transfers, those combined to pay off Georginio Wijnaldum.

The crying poor is pretty sad and you have to wonder whether the Reds will “do a City” and pay dearly for not addressing a clear need next to Virgil van Dijk. The Reds