Many fans and pundits assume that Jürgen Klopp’s first summer in charge at Liverpool will see some heavy activity in the transfer market. The German manager, though, has always insisted that part of the reason he chose Liverpool was that he felt the club had a strong squad; a squad that he could work with.
“I have no idea when we can win the title, but we will build on the base we made this year,” he told reporters yesterday when asked about how he would approach his first offseason at Anfield. “It’s obvious we have a good base. Maybe we finish eighth, seventh, sixth, or fifth. That doesn’t look the biggest success, but everyone can tell there are good signs.”
Finishing fifth, given the way the season started, would certainly be seen as a success. Especially if it came with victory in the Europa League that brought the club a major piece of silverware in his first season in charge along with a place in next season’s Champions League. It’s a long shot, and the priority clearly remains in Europe, but it’s not impossible.
Liverpool play their game in hand tonight against Chelsea, and if they win they will enter the final game of the season one point off West Ham in sixth and two off of Manchester United in fifth. Their fate won’t be in their own hands, but as long as they win tonight, they will at least be in the conversation for ending up in the top five in the final table.
“I cannot say anything about a time or a date, but we have to improve and I think we will,” Klopp continued, before shifting his focus back to Liverpool’s next three games. “If we do that, we can have a really good season, and I’m looking forward to next season. But in this moment we’re in this season and want to try to get as much as we can.”
That starts tonight with Chelsea visiting Anfield for Liverpool’s final home game of the campaign before they travel to West Brom to wrap things up on Sunday. Then, it’s a quick turnaround, with only two days off before the Europa League final against Sevilla from Basel on May 18th.