After the massive spend of last summer, Liverpool are likely to keep a lower profile in the the coming transfer market. Jürgen Klopp is the club’s manager because he was assured by John Henry that he could embark on a great adventure and not just a quick trip to the picnic table. Klopp wouldn’t want to shake up his crew with too many new additions and ruin the harmony. Liverpool brought the level of the squad up with some key players but now it’s about sustaining the mojo.
“I don’t want to talk exactly what we will do, but I don’t think this is a team at the moment where we have to spend the big money or whatever,” Klopp said.
“The best way to do it is bring together a group of players, try to develop them altogether and then stay together for a while.
“That was maybe the main problem of Liverpool for the last decade. When they had a good team after a season they went all over the world. That will not happen this year for sure.”
It’s clear that Klopp will be in for a left-back to compete with Andy Robertson next season. Alberto Moreno is expected to depart on a free and we’ll wish him well because he made us laugh. Daniel Sturridge is probably moving on as well after several injury-laced years at Liverpool. Sturridge was amazing for awhile, if you’re new to the club. He was supposed to do more but, life.
There’s a list somewhere, I’m sure, with all the suspected outs. So, let’s talk about the ins. Last summer Liverpool brought in Xherdan Shaqiri for £13M, Fabinho for £40M, Naby Keita for £54M, and Allison Becker for £56M. That’s several stacks of millions, if you’re counting.
Klopp needed a world class goalkeeper to compete at the highest level. And what a difference Allison has made to every aspect of Liverpool’s play. The club has needed an enforcer in midfield since Lucas Leiva tore his ACL in 2011 (Two. Thousand. Eleven!). Fabinho had a slow start but the Brazilian is nearly essential in the starting XI now.
Naby Keita was meant to be the creative spark from midfield that Liverpool were missing following Philippe Coutinho’s departure to Barcelona. The Guinean hasn’t hit the heights that everyone was expecting. There was the year-long building of anticipation for the player’s arrival that didn’t help when Keita wasn’t even getting into the squad. But we’ve seen some moments from Naby Keita recently that suggest he’s more settled in training, and in England maybe, and is close to breaking out.
And Shaqiri was only £13M, a low risk transfer for a back up to Mohamed Salah and dynamic player in his own right, with a bunch of potential, in need of a manager who knows how to use his strengths.
Klopp will mostly be looking in this Shaqiri/back-up market this summer. He’ll be looking for players who work hard and are willing to wait for their chance in the team. It’s a great position to be in after season, after season, after season of “going all over the world,” as the manager noted.
The core of the team is strong, the bench is as deep as it’s been in my time supporting the club and a few tweaks here and there is all that’s required to get back out there and compete next season. But transfers are fun so hopefully at least one exciting thing happens.