Liverpool’s season has been a rollercoaster ride.
Back in September the team looked irrepressible at times. Jurgen Klopp’s high octane brand of football appeared capable of sweeping all before them. Indeed, despite their defensive inadequacies, many saw them as very serious title challengers until the wheels came off in 2017.
January saw them pick up just a single win, against Plymouth in the FA Cup. Each performance looked more staid and turgid than that which went before it as the club plummeted from title challengers to top four scrappers.
There have been many theories to explain such a collapse but one is particularly convincing. Players the ilk of Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane are indeed scintillating when unleashed as they were early in the year, but maintaining such intensity throughout such a gruelling season has been a bridge to far.
Klopp is not one for half measures when it comes to on-field tactics, so it looks obvious that the club needs to bolster their squad. And, as reported by the Liverpool Echo, Klopp will have considerable funds to do so.
The German gaffer is thought to be in line to get his hands on £100 million from Fenway Sports Group to splurge come the summer. However, a glance at the players they expect to sell, according to the above report, looks set to give Klopp further ammunition to attract Europe’s best to Anfield.
The ever-impressive Mamadou Sakho is thought to be worth £30 million, with Daniel Sturridge valued just below that. Alberto Moreno and Lazar Markovic are also both thought to be nearing the exit door at the club, and they may be able to attract £30m between them.
Such business would bolster Klopp’s coffers by up to £80 million and leave him well placed to augment the squad. Defensive frailties appear in most urgent need of redevelopment but, if Klopp insists on maintaining his high octane football brand throughout an entire season, additional options will be needed all over the park, not just in front of the goalkeeper.
The club’s prospects will certainly be damaged if they don’t manage to nail down a top four spot this season, and Liverpool certainly haven’t been in the conversation around the transfer of Europe’s elite like Chelsea and Manchester City have.
What’s clear, however, is that the Reds will have the funds to compete with those clubs if the right players become available. Klopp is far from a shrinking violet in the transfer market as evidenced by his purchase of Mané last Summer.
Should further purchases be as successful as the acquisition of the Senegalese striker, Liverpool can look forward to a successful year next season.
Colm Egan, Pundit Arena
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