Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick joins Liverpool FC squad
Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick is unsurprised by the impressive Liverpool squad that Jurgen Klopp has assembled due to the number of players they have signed from his former clubs.
Rangnick was the Red Bull group sporting director between 2012 and 2020 and oversaw the development of six players now at Liverpool. Sadio Mane was at Red Bull Salzburg before moving to England, Liverpool signed Naby Keita and Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, and Takumi Minamino from Salzburg.
When Klopp took over at Anfield in October 2015, he inherited Roberto Firmino, who joined Hoffenheim when Rangnick was manager in 2010, and Joel Matip was managed by Rangnick at Schalke.
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Rangnick is taking United to Liverpool on Tuesday almost six months to the day since United’s 5-0 thrashing in the second leg at Old Trafford. Liverpool haven’t scored a domestic double against United since 2013-14 and if they win they would be top of the Premier League for at least 24 hours.
“They’re good, they’re extremely good,” Rangnick said of Klopp’s side. “It’s no coincidence that they are as good as they are. Jurgen has built this team over the last six and a half years. Six or seven of these players were my/our players when we signed them for our clubs when nobody knew them.
“And again, it’s no coincidence that it’s probably the club with the most players from our former clubs because their approach, their style of football, the way they want to play is quite similar. “
Remarkably, United are just three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who lost to Brighton on Saturday, with six games remaining. United’s chances of Champions League qualification looked all but over after the defeat at Everton and they head to Arsenal four days after the Anfield encounter.
United fans chanted ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ in the edgy 3-2 win over Norwich and Paul Pogba was repeatedly told to ‘fk off’. Rangnick is still convinced that the players have a desire to finish fourth.
“Yeah sure,” Rangnick said. “Of course they also showed today that they’re trying to win this game but, as I said, for me it’s a matter of being physical enough in those moments and that’s not Wasn’t the first time today, it happened in earlier matches.
“If I still remember the game in Leeds, when we played at the end with Scotty [McTominay] and with Fred, yes it was a battle and we were up to it at Leeds, but it needs to happen more regularly. It’s pretty obvious.
“The reason the club contacted me in November was that they conceded too many goals too easily. We have reduced the number of goals conceded but the way we defend is still not the standard we we need to be a top four club.”