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Klopp: Liverpool’s Year… Next Year?

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When Jürgen Klopp was hired at Liverpool back in October, most Liverpool fans were dead set on them challenging for a title. Well, they got to the final of the Capital One Cup which is not a massive ask for a Liverpool team who’s hardest challenges on the way to the final were Carlisle, Southampton and Stoke. Many fans instantly thought that the season would be in the palm of their hands, and the future would be a bright one with ‘The Normal One’ in charge.

This season hasn’t particularly been a massive success for Liverpool, who sit currently at 9th in the table and were knocked out to West Ham in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. The only virtues that they have are that they made it to a cup final (but a Willy Caballero penalty master-show stopped them from getting their hands on the cup) and that they are in the last 16 of the Europa League where they look to take on Manchester United.

So, now that the dust has settle and Klopp is five months into his life on Merseyside, he needs to start looking to the next season of the English Premier League. With only a few months left in the league, and Liverpool firmly out of contention for the title, he needs to use these next few months to sort out where his weaknesses are and where his strengths are. He needs to start building his Liverpool side, not use the remnants of Rodgers side.

Klopp has been linked with a lots of players, many from his former club Dortmund, and with Liverpool’s chief executives reportedly giving him the go-ahead to sign  number of ‘significant faces’ in the next transfer window, you have to ask, who does Klopp need, and more importantly, who does he need to get rid of.

For me, Liverpool have three main weaknesses:

1: Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet has always been a scapegoat for Liverpool and to some degree, it is deserved. When he shows up, he pulls off some crucial saves, but he rarely shows up. What Liverpool need between the sticks is consistency, the consistency that made the likes of José Reina, Jerzy Dudek and David James loved amongst the Kop. You’d expect Klopp to raid the Bundesliga for a new keeper, and you can see him going for someone along the lines of Bernd Leno or Timo Horn, two young keepers who are packed full of ability and consistency in the Bundesliga.

2: Central Defence: It has been widely known amongst footballing managers that defence is what wins you games. You can have the best attackers in the world, but if you have a defence that leaks goals, you’re never going to get anywhere. Liverpool have lost eight games this season, with a goal difference of only +2. In contrast, every top four team currently has a goal difference of no less than +16; it’s an issue Liverpool need to address. With Kolo Toure also out of contract in the summer, you can see him wanting to improve his central defenders, and with reported moves for Joel Matip and Neven Subtonic, only time can tell.

3: Striker: There is still a gaping hole left in the front of the Liverpool Team where Luis Suarez was. Liverpool always seem to have a great striker, before Suarez it was Fernando Torres, before Torres it was Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen. Daniel Sturridge for me, is just too much of a liability in that squad, with him now having spent more time injured for Liverpool than actually playing for them and Benteke is proving to be an Andy Carroll 2.0. Klopp has the prowess to bring in great players for small fees, and with a lot of people out of contract in the summer, Klopp could get one of his bargains, or if the money is available, he will have to go for a proven and reliable striker (not one that has just one good season like Benteke.)

If Klopp can fill these three places, he may just have a chance next year. He needs to remove the deadwood from that squad and utilise the massive budget that has been reportedly made available to him. With links to Marco Reus, Mario Gotze and lots of other well known internationals, can Klopp finally get Liverpool the league title that they have been waiting nearly 26 years for?

Who do you think Klopp should sign? Do you agree that he needs to get rid of these players? Tweet us @TheSportLowdown


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