With a fourth place finish and a return to the Champions League on the horizon, Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp turn to the summer transfer window to make sure that when the inevitable injuries hit (I’m sorry, I’m just a worrier) next season, the team will be better equipped to handle it.
There are a few names that have been floating around for the past few months: Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, for one, as well as RB Leipzig's Naby Keita. Jamie Carragher, who really doesn’t need an introduction, has expounded on what needs to happen in his most recent Daily Mail column.
“Klopp’s idea at the beginning of the campaign was to go with a small squad because of the lack of games and it explains why he ended last summer’s window with a positive net spend,” Carragher wrote prior to the Middlesbrough game. “It was a risk – so was not signing anyone in January – but it looks like it may just pay off.
“Part of the reason is the fact that three of his four big signings integrated quickly. Sadio Mane was superb before injury intervened, while Gini Wijnaldum and Joel Matip have both been very good. Loris Karius, the goalkeeper, is the only one with questions to answer but he has time on his side.”
Gini Wijnaldum, of course, was instrumental during the Boro game when he netted the first goal and changed the mood on the pitch from fraught with anxiety to celebratory. Mané has widely been considered the signing of the season with the work he put in before his injury, and Matip has been one of the most reliable members of Liverpool’s shaky defence. Carragher believes Klopp needs a lot more of the same.
“For the progress of the last 12 months to continue at the pace Klopp wants, another window like that is required – where his preferred targets come in and make a difference – but to get the players who will do that, they need to be in the top four.”
Top four’s been accomplished. All eyes are now on Klopp and the Liverpool management to see what the summer brings.