Jürgen Klopp is Liverpool's manager. It's quite an amazing sentence to actually write, and although the 49-year-old was appointed nearly eight months ago, he retains a magnetic and charismatic aura that is still fresh. The man is loved by Liverpool fans, but the journey to become believers from doubters is not yet complete. From inflated transfer fees due to the lucrative Premier League TV rights deal that starts this summer to an impressive list of managers at rival clubs, 2016/17 will be a campaign not without its notable challenges.
Pre-season is an important aspect of meeting and going beyond those obstacles, and for a manager who believes in training and improving players such as Jürgen Klopp, there are many reasons to be joyful. After being left out of the French squad, Mamadou Sakho is available with a final ruling in his doping case not far away. Dejan Lovren fell out with Croatia's management to miss Euro 2016, Philippe Coutinho returned home early from the Copa América, Roberto Firmino and Loris Karius are both set to miss out on the Olympics, Danny Ings and Joe Gomez are fully restored, and five Liverpool players no longer have any international commitments after Iceland knocked out by England in the last 16 of the Euros. Don't forget that Divock Origi's Belgium exited in the last eight against Wales only yesterday.
Joël Matip, Sadio Mané, Marko Grujić, and Loris Karius are the first signings of the Klopp era to help Liverpool push on this season. Each one is available for pre-season training which starts today. Roberto Firmino, Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, and Dejan Lovren among others will welcome them into the fold, providing early pre-season training sessions with much-needed first-team presence. Lucas Leiva will especially play a vital role here. Klopp made sure his coaching team arrived with him in October, but recent appointments of Andreas Kornmayer as the new fitness coach and Mona Nemmer as the nutritionist spells a fresh approach to preparing as well as maintaining players. Both Kornmayer and Nemmer were at Bayern Munich -- underlining the quality they can give to Liverpool -- before joining Klopp's team.
Much work has been undertaken already with July only a couple of days old. Martin Škrtel and Christian Benteke are close to leaving for good deals considering where both are on the depth chart. Liverpool are part of the transfer party but surely don't want to be a regular participant in the madness known as buying a player from the Premier League. Good players can be signed for ridiculous prices in England, but thankfully Klopp appears to be paying attention to development as well as transfers. Liverpool have secured the original recipe and will now see how a process solely for domestic football unfolds between now and the end of 2016/17.