Major Summer Signings: A Natural Progression
Since Jürgen Klopp became manager we’ve reached three finals and qualified for the Champions League for the previous two seasons after a three year absence. Not bad going by anybody’s standards. The arrivals of players to Anfield whom three seasons ago were more likely to have ended up with Chelsea, or the two Manchester teams is down to the manager. The feel good factor, the growth of Liverpool fans worldwide and rising popularity in America is down to Jürgen Klopp too. The meticulous assembly of the backroom staff, now rivals that of the fabled Boot Room. Modern times brought modern disciplines, with a nutritionalist specialist and a head of fitness coach bring among some of the changes made at the club.
Foundations laid for success
The fact of the matter of actually being runner up in the three finals is irrelevant in the greater scope of things. The plans and development put in place and the backing given to the manager is foremost the most important thing FSG have done since their arrival on October 15, 2010. This brings me to my next analysis. Jürgen Klopp has benefited greatly from Liverpool’s owners creating a new role of a new role of sporting director within the club. In 2016, Michael Edwards was appointed in this capacity and his achievements in this role are now nearing legendary status. It’s helped greatly that Klopp is a shrewd investor of players and a great motivational coach and is well admired within the game and players have expressed a desire to play under Klopp. Players like Fabinho and van Dijk could easily have joined one of the other top six teams a few years back. The astute signings of Salah, Mané and Firmino are amongst the best in the clubs recent history. Other notable signings like Alisson, Robertson and Keïta are the future of the club and the backbone of the team.
The next step forward
So where do we go from here? To keep the momentum going and to continue to attract players we need to progress by winning silverware. It’s what the fans want and it’s why Klopp is the manager it’s a natural progression of a successful and ambitious football club that in order to achieve this goal then major signings need to be made in the Summer. This is a must if we’re to keep up with the Jones. We’ve had a good run last season without any injuries to the likes of Salah, Mané and Firmino and likewise this season too. We’ve been blessed to an extent even though the injuries did start to build up last month after the strenuous December period. It shows how thin our strength in squad depth actually is in comparison to Manchester City who’ve hardly missed De Bruyne or Kompany.
Changing of the guard
Klopp’s reluctance to bring players in during January transfer windows with the exception of van Dijk put the onus on Liverpool, Edwards and indeed Klopp to splash the cash on players of world class talent. Naturally I’d think if Liverpool were Premier League champions then it would be easier to lure them to the club, albeit with an extra £15/20 million added on to the players valuation because of who we are and being hopefully the new champions.
There are players in this current squad whom are surplus to requirements. Let’s not beat around the bush about it. Alberto Moreno, Adam Lallana and even Joel Matip are summertime departures.
Then incoming players we should be looking to get include the likes of 19 year old, Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax. A natural partner for van Dijk in the back. Timo Werner the 22 year old German forward of RB Leipzig is another player we should be making a serious bid for. None of this; you can have one or the other, will do. We need to be aggressive in our Summer signings and not to be looking to see who we can offload to cover the cost of new signings. Divock Origi’s surprise involvement in our recent Champions League match against Bayern Munich as a substitute in the 76th minute confirmed to me that Liverpool are putting an outgoing player in the shop window to justify their asking fee of £26 million for a flop. Ironically he might have scored the most important goal of his career in the one nil victory over Everton. Although I fear that unless we reach the Champions League Final or win the Premier League this season then the money won’t be as free flowing for transfers as it was in the Summer of 2018, on the likes of Fabinho, Alisson and Keïta. Reaching the final alone is worth over £70 million.
The pragmatic hard business logic may come into play and only perhaps two major signings could be made if we don’t win anything this season. For the majority of fans it’s an unthinkable thought but even Firmino could be sacrificed for creating funds for new signings. I’m not for one minute saying we’re going down that road but it’s a possibility in the owners thinking if Klopp has a readymade replacement lined up. Don’t forget we got Alisson, Shaqiri and Fabinho with the Coutinho money so anything is possible.