Jürgen Klopp said he is still waiting for the first benefit of Brexit following the Football Association’s announcement of its ramifications for English football.
The FA, in conjunction with the Premier League and EFL, confirmed this week that English clubs cannot sign foreign players until they are 18, or more than three overseas players under 21 in a single transfer window once the UK leaves the EU on 1 January. Other rules include work permits, allocated on a points-based system, for all transfers from EU nations.
Klopp, a long-time Brexit critic, believes the Home Office would have enforced greater restrictions but for resistance from many within the game, and he considers the transfer rules another example of Brexit’s negative impact.
The Liverpool manager said: “Michael Edwards [Liverpool’s sporting director] was involved in a lot of these discussions and the clubs fought pretty hard for a solution – kind of a good solution or as good as possible. Without the discussions it would have been worse. I am still waiting for the first advantage of Brexit that someone can tell me. What really improves after Brexit? It’s obviously not my thing to judge, but as an interested person I just wait until the first really positive impact of Brexit. Maybe I didn’t read it because I’m too much in football, but I don’t remember a lot, to be honest.”
The Governing Body Endorsement plan is designed to promote more homegrown talent in the English game. Klopp, however, believes English talent is thriving because players can train alongside some of the best youngsters in Europe, an opportunity that will be lost post-Brexit.
“People – the FA or whoever – want to make sure that the clubs don’t sign too many players from other countries because they are afraid that not enough English talents will make their way. But if you look at the English youth national teams at the moment they are in the top two or three – if not the top – in nearly all age groups; talent-wise they are 100%, and that is with the way we did it before.
“So let’s think about why that happened. They had a lot of players around them that played good football as well. It’s helpful. We cannot just create more talents because we deny other talents. But, as I say, it’s not my thing to judge. It’s just one of the smaller problems which we will all be aware of when Brexit is finally there.”
Trent Alexander-Arnold returned to training on Friday having missed the past four weeks with the injury picked up at Manchester City. He could be involved in Sunday’s game against Wolves.