There were times right up until the end of last season when Jurgen Klopp’s lack of a trophy at Liverpool was still being used as a stick to beat him with. Despite having already reached two European finals and one domestic final with the Reds, the German boss’s credentials as a winner were constantly called into question.
Even Klopp himself had suggested he needed to win at least one trophy to make good on the promise he made when he arrived. His achievements in Germany were conveniently overlooked because he hadn’t enjoyed success on Merseyside. Of course, that issue was put to bed in the finest way possible with June’s Champions League final victory over Tottenham Hotspur. The question now is: where does Klopp go from here?
A more effective approach
During the last campaign, it was often pointed out that Liverpool were not as enjoyable to watch as they had been in the previous campaign. The football did not have the same exhibition quality yet they accumulated 22 more points and scored five more goals in the league. Significantly, they also conceded 16 goals less highlighting the impact of new signings Alisson and Virgil van Dijk.
This evolution towards a more effective but less attractive style of play nearly bagged the club their first Premier League title in nearly 30 years and Klopp will be determined to secure that elusive piece of silverware.
Premier League priority
The Reds are currently priced at 9/4 to land the Premier League title in the coming season and punters taking advantage of Unibet offers in UK might be tempted to back Klopp’s men with their bonus bets. But what does the enigmatic boss need to do to overhaul Manchester City? Pep Guardiola’s men have already spent money strengthening their squad while the Liverpool management team seem quietly content with what they have got.
As usual, fans will be demanding big name signings but so far, there has been little to suggest the Reds are looking to splash the cash. Either that, or they are keeping their cards very close to their chest.
Replacement for Sturridge
The return to fitness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez will give the squad an instant boost and Klopp seems convinced he can still make good use of a fit Adam Lallana. But there is a case to be made that the Anfield club should target another striker to replace the outgoing Daniel Sturridge. Divock Origi continues to prove his worth but a more dynamic and creative back-up man who can put genuine pressure on the current front three could help the Reds to close the gap on City’s goal tally and turn some of those frustrating draws into victories.
A quieter summer expected
Identifying such a player is a job for the recruitment team and it may be the right man is not available. Established names may not want to join a set-up where they are not guaranteed first-team football and lower profile players who can step-up are few and far between. Whatever happens, Klopp has found a formula he will look to tweak rather than change too much. So anyone expecting another bumper transfer window could be left disappointed.