Klopp’s Busy Summer
Posted by Craig Muncey | Published on May 20, 2016
After Wednesday night’s disappointing result, Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool football club realise now more than ever, that changes are required within the playing squad.
On the night Liverpool were lethargic, lacking ideas, and needed someone to take hold of the players around them and lead a fight back, with the exception of Kolo Toure, there seems to be lack of leadership. This is not a knee jerk reaction, I have mentioned this in previous articles, Liverpool need to get leaders into that squad, plus an improvement in player ability. All season the team has been inconsistent, strong results and team performances against Manchester City, Southampton, Villareal and Borussia Dortmund have then been compounded by poor performances and results such as Newcastle United, Crystal Palace Manchester United and Watford.
In Klopp’s first season in charge at Dortmund, he released 13 players and brought in 17 players, and if not on that scale, I expect changes to occur.
The following are the players I would keep and release and who I would look as potential replacements for those players and my reasons behind my thoughts.
Keep – Danny Ward
Release – Simon Mignolet and Adam Bogdan
Possible Options – Loris Karius, Timo Horn, Marc Ter Stegen, Shay Given
Conclusion – In my view I would not keep Mignolet even taking into account his recently signed long term contract, he could be a back up to a new recruit, such as Karius if reports are true. But for the wages you are paying for Mignolet, married off against his ability, I would move him on. Ward is a decent keeper, who could be a number 2, but if the plan is to get him some game time elsewhere on loan, then would like to see an experienced keeper to back up someone like Karius, and I think Shay Given could do that. Likelihood is though that if a young inexperienced keeper such as Karius comes into the club, Mignolet will be initially kept on, as a security blanket, whilst a young keeper finds his feet.
Keep – Nathaniel Clyne, Jon Flanagan, Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sakho (dependant on length of ban), Joe Gomez
Release – Conor Randall, Alberto Moreno, Brad Smith, Kolo Toure, Tiago Ilori, Martin Skrtel, Steven Caulker (back to parent club), Andre Wisdom
Possible Options – Jonas Hector, Aaron Cresswell, Ben Chilwell, Ricardo Rodriguez, Jonathan Tah, Marc Bartra, Shkodran Mustafi
Conclusion – I would look to make big changes here. With Sakho it is all dependant on his ban, and how Liverpool wish to limit the damage, if basing on just playing ability, I would look to keep him. If Sakho ban is lengthy, would look at potentially keeping Toure on for 1 year. Cameroonian international, Joel Matip, will be joining the club and is a useful addition. Left back position, I would start again, and release both Moreno and Smith, neither are good enough. Liverpool are heavily linked with Chilwell, but he is an 18 year old with a handful of games, similar to Joe Gomez who joined last year, to expect a player of that age to be first choice all season is a huge ask. Would prefer to see Chilwell as a back up, and my first choice would be Germany’s first choice left back, Hector. Looking forward to seeing Joe Gomez back fit, before his injury looked a real asset to the side, interesting to see what Klopp does with him.
Keep – Emre Can, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen, Cameron Brannagan, Pedro Chivirella
Release – Joao Teixeira, Kevin Stewart, Lucas Leiva
Possible Options – Piotr Zielinski, Mamoud Dahoud, Ignacio Camacho, Georgino Winaljdum, Moussa Sissokho
Conclusion – Liverpool need a defensively minded player, and I think Camacho alongside Can would be a big upgrade. Henderson, I think will be kept on, but if a good offer came in this summer, I would not be entirely surprised if he left. Marko Grujic is on his way to the club, so have one new addition in this area. Joe Allen is also a tricky one, if Joe is happy to be a player who is more of a squad player than first choice, then would like him to stay on, but if after first team football then no option but to release. If Allen leaves and no defensive minded player brought in, then would keep Lucas. In terms of players I would keep would look to loan out Chivirella to get some game time in the Championship and possibly Brannagan.
Keep – Philipe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana, Jordan Ibe, Sheyi Ojo, Sergi Canos, Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Danny Ings
Release – Luis Alberto, Lazar Markovic, Christian Benteke, Mario Balotelli, Jerome Sinclair
Possible Options – Mario Gotze, Andriy Yarmolenko, Isco, Callum Wilson
Conclusion – I would have Sturridge, Origi, Firmino and Ings as my main striker option, which I think gives Liverpool enough cover up top, with then the two or three creative forces behind your main striker, creating and chipping in with goals. Similarly, to Henderson, if a good offer came in for Lallana, and recruitment was going well, such as Gotze joining, I would not be too surprised if Lallana left the club. In terms of the players I am keeping would be looking to loan out Canos and maybe Ibe once season underway, dependant on recruits and injuries.
So there you have it, my own thoughts on what is required in the off season. In my list I would release 18 players, including Caulker who returns back to his parent team. If I am anywhere close to the number of changes, as per the heading, it will be a busy summer for Klopp, and I will be watching on with interest.