Liverpool are out of the Champions League, what next for Jurgen Klopp’s squad?
Liverpool have a long way to go before summer. It would be wrong to say that their season ended today at the Santiago Bernabéu; in fact, their last hope for a trophy was gone long before today’s 1-0 defeat. Either way, they can’t just end the night with the rest of the Premier League ahead of them. They still face almighty challenges to get to what Jurgen Klopp has long set as the minimum that can be expected of his side every year – Champions League qualification. Once this is provided (or not), the long-debated restructuring power start off.
This game was almost as depressing as the 5-2 thrashing against Liverpool at Anfield last month. Real Madrid may not have scored as well as in the first leg, but that was due to the hosts recovering from a clumsy finish and Alisson taking inspiration from a shot stoppage. Three weeks ago, it looked like every shot by the reigning champions in this competition was going into Liverpool’s net. Tonight, Luka Modric and his colleagues entered their own battle for the Puskas award until Karim Benzema ruined the moment by converting the sloppiest moment of the night: Vinicius Jr. slipped out into the fresh air from the summer before hooking the ball for his 9th number. injure yourself by rolling the ball into an empty net.
Last year, Liverpool took every competition they entered to the final kick in the final game. Now their last remaining prize is to return to the tournament where they were so rudely humiliated this season, not only because of the holders taking them apart at arm’s length, but also because of the shellac that Napoli gave them at the start of the campaign. Champions League. From the moment Victor Osimhen slipped over Klopp’s backline and hit the post, there were signs that this team could not compete again.
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As always, the solutions to this problem should lie in the transfer market. In fact, this could be the case with Klopp, the man who opens the club’s checkbook as a last resort. His old dogs aren’t really in training mode anymore, the messages that have been hammered into them for years are now so deeply programmed that these players can’t seem to understand that there are times when on-field adaptation is required.
Who should stay, who is Liverpool stuck with and who can come to sort it all out? Let’s take a look:
The great three strikers that propelled Klopp’s team to glory in the Premier League and Champions League may have been torn apart too late, but there are at least signs that a successor trident is being forged at Anfield. Much remains unproven when it comes to Cody Gakpo And Darwin Nunez, two strikers with little resemblance to Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Nunes, in particular, brought crashes, punches and punches to his new side; he is clearly a player who makes shots.
If something is not working out for beginners, then there is at least strength in the front line in depth. Liverpool can pay Mohamed Salah first-class wages, £350,000 a week to be exact, for performances that will inevitably come sooner or later after the premiere. Perhaps this season he even started to fall, although 22 goals and 11 assists is not a bad result. Add to mix Diogo Jota And Louis Diaz, over whom the biggest questions are whether they can regain the form they showed before the serious injuries, and this is a promising combination.
The attack looks ready and will be complemented by a trio of youngsters who have established themselves as players who should play a role at Liverpool in the coming years: Harvey Elliott, Stefan Baisetic And Fabio Carvalho. The first two got their minutes during relegation from Real Madrid and looked for what they are, talented youngsters not yet capable of making a meaningful positive impact in a difficult Champions League match. However, Baisetic, who was injured and missed the relegation from Madrid, has some of the pace-setting qualities in midfield that Liverpool lacked with the exception of Thiago, while Elliot has an even more notable quality, offering a decent number of heads.
However, Liverpool are building their next team using Trent Alexander-Arnold ball handling skills and defending his defensive weaknesses should be their focus. Surely it will help if they can look forward to an extended series of games from Ibrahima Konate, who excelled in his first season covering the space behind his right back. Those two and Alisson should securely hide in the Anfield rearguard for several years to come.
Veterans stay put
For the time being, Klopp will undoubtedly stand his ground. Andrew Robertson And Virgil van Dyck even if it’s fair to wonder if players aged 29 and 32 will ever be back at their best at the start of the new season. The loss of the old Van Dijk is likely to be the biggest tactical headache for Liverpool, who could have played in a high line that could otherwise be cavalier because they had the best recovering defender in the world, a fitness player and the skill of danger to close the counters before they begin. These players are not easy to replace.
Perhaps there are Liverpool fans who would be more than happy for the club’s captain. Jordan Henderson move on and he’s another one who seems to lack the physical qualities that made him so invaluable to the best versions of this team. However, he turns 33 in June and has a contract until 2025 that pays him £140,000 a week. Good luck finding applicants. The same could be said if Liverpool ever wanted to exit thiago business (there is no evidence that they do this). Not only is the Spaniard on a downward age curve, but he also has an even bigger injury record, having played in just 93 of his team’s 155 games since he left Bayern Munich, playing the full 90 minutes in just 32. going forward, Thiago positions himself as a man whose presence will always be welcome in the Liverpool team, but whose availability cannot be taken for granted.
Open for suggestions
Another player who started the season in Liverpool’s strongest midfield is Fabinho, whose decline has been so marked in recent months that there should be a strong possibility that the Reds will do business with the Brazilian. The question, as always with the aging stars of the big six clubs in the Premier League, is who can even take him out of their hands? In all likelihood, the 29-year-old remains as the default option. Joel Matip maybe in the same boat; his wages are lower, but a six-figure weekly pay package puts him out of reach for many clubs on the continent.
Obviously there aren’t many players that Liverpool could sell for the kind of money that would add to a transfer package that can’t be limitless if it’s owned by Fenway Sports Group. Players like Joe Gomez And Nathaniel Phillips established themselves at Premier League level, the former being particularly admired before signing a new contract at Anfield, and Aston Villa could revive their interest in the England international.
One of the ways Liverpool have been particularly successful in the transfer market is by cashing in on promising young players who are unlikely to make it to their team but can improve others. It’s debatable if any of Jordon Aibe, Dominic Solanke and Nico Williams actually did it, but they brought a lot of money into Anfield’s coffers. could Curtis Jones And Kevin Kelleher do it this summer? Both would be useful players for Klopp’s team, but neither is suitable for a long-term start. The fees they charge could allow Liverpool to sign those who do.
One player has already confirmed that he intends to move on, Roberto Firmino telling Klopp earlier this month that he would not accept a new deal offer. Inter Milan are among the clubs interested in the Brazilian, who will leave on a free transfer. Expected that Nabi Keita will do the same, perhaps return to Germany, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the infrequent involvement indicates that his Liverpool career would be over in almost six years. Creditor Arthur Melo another whose services will not be required after the new season.
What Liverpool need
For so long, the answer to this question has begun and ended with one man, Jude Bellingham. The England international was considered Klopp’s player on hold even before he moved to the German’s former club, Borussia Dortmund. He will offer them everything they need the most: pushing the ball through midfield, running a third player into the box, and toughness in defence, just to name a few of his ridiculously vast advantages.
However, it is far from guaranteed that the player so coveted by Real Madrid and Manchester City will choose the Reds, even if they have long been considered his signature favourites. As talented as he was, Bellingham alone would certainly not be enough, as Jamie Carragher pointed out on CBS Sports’ UEFA Champions League post-game show after losing the first leg.
“At times before the World Cup, it seemed to Liverpool that they needed a midfielder or two midfielders. The more you watch this Liverpool team, you think that I think there should be more than four people in the team, and not just in the squad, ”he said. . Such a drastic overhaul may not be possible overnight, but with even Klopp admitting he should have bolstered midfield over the summer, it’s fair to assume there could be more than one newcomer in the Anfield engine room. Add not only Bellingham, but someone behind him who can cover the defense convincingly, like…