Liverpool’s summer business has been ticking along nicely so far. Despite the unpleasant Fekir saga, Kieta, Fabinho and Shaqiri have all been added to bolster our midfield options.
Rumours and stories from foreign papers rumble on in the background as Liverpool are linked to an array of names. Despite this, Klopp is widely reported to be in the market for two more players before hostilities resume in three weeks.
With a couple of positions in need of urgent reinforcements, it certainly will be interesting to see who the German goes for, and where he decides to strengthen. It could ultimately have a decisive impact on what we are capable of achieving in 18/19.
Areas of concern
It doesn’t take a genius to work out the issues Liverpool have with their senior goalkeepers. There has been plenty of speculation this summer linking the club to a host of keepers both at home and abroad.
Roma’s Alisson continues to be linked, as does Barcelona keeper Jasper Cillensen. On the other hand, Klopp is also said to be happy with his current options available, with Danny Ward to be given his chance as number one, after a frustrating season as third choice.
Whatever the manager has in his head, it remains highly likely that a new recruit will come in this summer, in what has become the problem position for Liverpool since the departure of Pepe Riena in 2013.
The on/off saga surrounding Fekir is also surely proof that the club is in the market for a new number ten. Coutinho’s departure and Lallana’s injury crisis left us short of options and creativity last season; particularly in the spring. With Klopp’s intensive style of play sure to put the team through its paces, not to mention the injury to Oxlade-Chamberlain, Liverpool would be foolish to hedge their bets with the current options in the squad.
Whether or not Fekir joins the ranks remains open for French media speculation. However, it appears that the willingness is there for the right player, as is the money, he just needs to have kneecaps that work.
With the hype and praise rightfully heaped on Andy Robertson last season, it is easy for fans to forget the club’s past troubles at left back. However, in Alberto Moreno, we have a clear and worrying reminder of our past failures to recruit.
Viewed as something of a squad player, the Spaniard has been allowed to continue on as a Liverpool player. Despite an extensive catalogue of catastrophes in his locker, including his shocking performance in the FA Cup exit to West Brom, Moreno remains as a deputy to Robertson.
There is nothing really to go off in terms of speculation concerning the Spaniard. However, it would be useful to see a more capable deputy brought in. If Robbo needs a rest or picks up a knock, it would be worrying to see Moreno thrown in for any serious prolonged run.
The club needs to be ruthless here and jettison a player who has had far too many chances already. Ideally, a defender capable of playing both at full-back and centre-half would be perfect – if one is available.
Origi and Sturridge are also in danger of departing this summer. The out and out striker is an unfashionable commodity in Klopp’s Liverpool. However, it would be very useful if either man could stake a claim to a squad place for next season. The likelihood is, they will both go, and if that’s the case, then it would be handy to have another option who is capable of playing centrally, especially with Solanke’s early struggles in front of goal.
Ultimately, the squad is getting stronger, despite Can and Coutinho jumping ship. With the toll of the World Cup and another busy schedule on the cards for Klopp, it will be important to play on this strength next season.
Shaqiri was, as Klopp rightfully put it, a no-brainer; he has the quality to come and perform when necessary, providing Mane and Salah a much-needed break. Kieta and Fabinho also take the pressure off. In the run-up to the Champions League Final last season, we were just one injury away from having to play a kid in Kiev.
Klopp may well want more than just two additional players. Only time will tell, but the next three weeks are certainly set to be very interesting.