Rafa Benitez has taken aim at Liverpool's spending in his time at the club in comparison to how they now operate with Jurgen Klopp at the helm.
The Spaniard who was in charge of Liverpool between 2004 and 2010, made the point about the lack of "world-class players" he had in his team and how he turned players including Luis Garcia, Xabi Alonso, Jamie Carragher and Fernando Torres into better players with just a £20million spending budget.
Since Klopp's arrival in 2015, the German boss has spent £225m on transfers. The current Liverpool team is one of the most expensive squads in the world, with Trent Alexander-Arnold said to be valued at around £112m alone.
When comparing his former squad to Klopp's, Benitez told AS: "If you analyse my Liverpool when I arrived in 2004, who were the best players? [Steven] Gerrard who was a young kid and played in different positions. There wasn’t much else in terms of world-class players.
"Now they tell you about Xabi Alonso, but then he was on loan at Eibar. Luis Garcia was a player that Barcelona was prepared to let go. Among the best is Fernando Torres who scored 15 or 20 goals in Spain when he reached 33.
"We made [Javier] Mascherano grow, who was on the bench at West Ham. Lucas Leiva who later spent 10 years at the club. [Daniel] Agger who cost £6million."
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"People remember that team, [Pepe] Reina for example, but they compare it to a Liverpool that has spent 1000m, which was very well spent but with players worth 40m," the 62-year-old added. "That’s why you can’t compare my Liverpool to [Jurgen] Klopp’s because you have to analyse the contexts.
"I had a budget of £20m, 20! Tell me now with £20m what Liverpool can sign, nothing if they are signing players worth £40m who sit on the bench. This is a great team which has intensity, rhythm and a coach who demands a lot from them and is able to get that because if you don’t have players of that level, you push them and they get frustrated."
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