Liverpool manager, Jurgen Norbert Klopp has superintended over perhaps his worst ever season in a football calendar at Liverpool FC this season. After achieving a legendary status by winning the Premier League in a 30 year wait, the 2020/21 season seems to have undermined his mythical status.
Added to the EPL trophy, Klopp has within two seasons from 2019, won the European and World club championships, after losing the European Championship to Real Madrid in 2018.
In the process, his two players—Virgil van Djik and Alisson Becker won European Best player and goalkeeper respectively in 2019. Van Djik went on to be the runner-up in the 2019 ballon d’or, losing out to the mercurial Lionel Messi.
In fact, he beat another soccer great, Cristiano Ronaldo in the three-man shortlist for that year’s award. Alison was however adjudged the best goal-keeper of the world. Within the period, Klopp transformed Chelsea flop, Muhammed Salah into a world class player.
Salah scored an incredible 32 goals to win the EPL top scorer award in his first season with Liverpool and continued same by scoring 22 goals to tie with Arsenals’ Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and team mate Sadio Mane for the lead scorer award.
Liverpool’s success story on the field has largely been influenced by huge investments in quality player buying. Virgil van Djik arrived at $75 Million Pounds; Alisson 65 Million Pounds, while others like Naby Keita, Fabinho and the likes were all bought within 45Million Dollars and above.
Most of the said players are in the prime of their careers and were expected to defend the premier league title successfully this season. That wish has however been thwarted or hampered by serious injuries which had ruled out three of their key players throughout the season.
Rather painfully, all of the said players operated at heart of Liverpool’s defence. The loss of defensive pillars—Virgil van Djik, Joseph Gomez and Joel Matip to long term injuries easily eroded every confidence Liverpool had exuded, prior to the start of the 2020/21 season.
In fact, all three are out for the remainder of the season. Goalkeeper Alison Becker, Trent Alexander Arnold and makeshift central defender, Fabinho have all been in and out of the team at some point because of injuries.
The other affected area is the middle of the park where Liverpool have missed the creativity of Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri, Oxlade Chamberlain and the steel of Jordan Henderson and James Milner at some point of the campaign all through injuries.
Even new arrivals like Tiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota have received their fair share of injuries. It’s pertinent to note that some of these players are injury prone and Jurgen Klopp is considering jettisoning every emotional attachment he has with these players to make way for players with no a little fitness issues.
Players to exit Liverpool this summer
On that score multiple sources in England have reported that the first exit player is Joel Matip. A fit Matip is a world class player that can compete with some of the best defenders in the world. But his potential has since not been realized because of chronic injuries and he is likely to depart at the end of the season.
James Milner will be 36; and from all indications, the club would like to consider him for a coaching role at the Liverpool academy rather than to keep him to block the chances of a budding talent like Curtis Jones.
Gini Wijnaldium is expected to leave on bossman ruling, possibly to join his former national team boss, Ronald Koeman at Barcelona. Naby Keita, Chamberlain, Shaqiri have the next half of the league to convince Jurgen Klopp whether they have a future at Liverpool.
Even in the case of Joe Gomez, although Liverpool reporter, James Pearce reports that Klopp holds him in high esteem, the German is said to be losing patience with his perennial injury concerns.
Mbape others to the rescue
There is this ambitious project that Liverpool are said to be embarking on in the summer. That is the purchase of arguably the best player in the world today-Kylian Mbappe.
Klopp made an attempt on Mbappe in the 2017 season when he was at Monaco; but the French man decided to switch to the French capital to join Paris St. Germain.
Mbappe’s contract with the capital club is running to just a year with prospective suitors circling. However, it’s Liverpool that is said to have made the bold intent of acquiring the French prodigy although Real Madrid could pose a threat. Mbappe himself has expressed the desire to work under the world class Jurgen Klopp.
With just a year on his contract, Mbappe’s price value has also fallen considerably. However, the biggest issue involved in the Mbappe transfer will be his salary.
It’s estimated that the French man will be the highest paid player if he joins Liverpool. That is within the range of 300-350,000 Pounds a week. That has the potential of ruffling the salary structure at Liverpool.
However, according to Liverpool sources, Mbappe’s salary should not worry the Merseyside club at all, thanks to Liverpool owners, Fenway Sporting Group’s 563 Million investment deal with RedBird Investment.
Aside that, there are other openings like adverts, monetization of the club’s social media content, television rights, revenue through European Cup participation that have contributed to a windfall that today makes Liverpool one to the richest clubs in the world.
It's also the contention that with his ever increasing global icon image, Mbappr’s merchandise can pay for all of his salaries and bonuses without it affecting Liverpool in any way or form.
Other players that Liverpool are targeting in the rebuilding effort include R.B. Liepzig young defender, Ibrahima Konate, a French international of Malian descent, Pau Torress of Villareal, Ben Davies of Southampton, Rennes wonder kid Eduardo Camavinga among others.
Already, there is every indication that Winter loanee, Ozan Kabak’s is likely to go the long haul with Liverpool after impressive outing so far with the Reds.
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