Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Frank Lampard’s youthful Chelsea side reminds him of his Borussia Dortmund team as the Reds heads to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Klopp built a young team in Dortmund, including Mario Gotze, Nuri Sahin, Shinji Kagawa and Robert Lewandowski, which went on to lift the Bundesliga in consecutive seasons, as well as the DFB Pokal in 2012.
Chelsea head coach Lampard has also put his faith in youngsters this season, with academy graduates Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori featuring heavily in the early stages of the campaign.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s trip to Chelsea, Klopp said: “It’s a really exciting team, it reminds me a little bit of my team at Dortmund years back when they were really young – maybe even younger than this team at Chelsea.
“People were always talking about how young they are, but they only played because they were good. They didn’t play because they were that young.”
Lampard has, in part, been forced to utilise Chelsea’s youth products due to their transfer ban, imposed by FIFA following an investigation into their signing of U18 foreign players.
Aside from the returning loan players – Abraham from Villa and Mount and Tomori from Derby – Chelsea welcomed Christian Pulisic to the club. He joined in January and was loaned back to Dortmund for six months.
“They brought in Christian Pulisic in the summer, I’m not sure about the money but for around £50-£60m, and all of the players around him now have the same value,” said Klopp.
“Tammy Abraham is now a £60m player, Mason Mount is for sure a £60m player, if not more, Callum Hudson-Odoi was that already.
“Jorginho is not that young, but he is not that long in the league, and then [N’Golo] Kante, who looks like he could play for the next 20 years.
“They have Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley, and then all the experienced guys around them, Pedro, Willian, Olivier Giroud and on the bench Michy Batshuayi.
“If there was one club in the world who a transfer ban didn’t hit that bad, it was probably Chelsea.”