Jurgen Klopp wrote himself in the Liverpool history books after guiding the club to a sixth-European Cup last season. The Champions League honour returned to the Merseyside club after more than a decade, but the wait for the first Premier League title goes on. The second-place finish in the league once again highlighted the need to improve – especially with a competitor like Manchester City in the race.
Klopp has been brilliant since he came to Liverpool, but even the German required a transfer outlay of £170m to make Liverpool competitive. The signings of Xherdan Shaqiri, Fabinho, Naby Keita, and Alisson were essential to address the shortcomings in the squad. These signings also provided some much-needed strength for Liverpool to compete across multiple competitions without showing signs of weariness.
However, the months after the Champions League success have been very quiet. Klopp has voiced his concerns about the lack of transfer activity at Anfield. According to Sky Sports, he said:
“Back when I was in Germany, Bayern had a bottomless pit of money, like £100m. In today’s market, that gets you one centre-back. So this bottomless pit of money is enough to buy one player in today’s world and that doesn’t even cover their wages.
“The market has changed more than I expected, but I stand by what I said.
“Liverpool is an ambitious club and if we didn’t spend the same amount of money as others, we wouldn’t be able to compete. Everybody’s splashing the cash, so we have to do the same.”
Liverpool have allowed Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno to leave the club in the summer. Even though Sturridge managed less than 1000 minutes of action across all competitions, his presence offered Klopp a vital option if the likes of Roberto Firmino required rest. Divock Origi played a crucial role in the successes last season. The Belgian is out of contract at the end of next season.
Danny Ings has also left Liverpool by making his move to Southampton permanent. The number of forward options for Klopp suddenly looks bleak. Liverpool certainly need to reinforce their offensive line-up.
Even though players like Phillipe Coutinho have been linked a move back to Merseyside, Liverpool are yet to make concrete offers. There is certainly a lot of time left in the transfer window, but one of the key successes for Liverpool at this stage last season was their ability to wrap up their market activity well in advance. There is less than a month to go before Liverpool’s proper pre-season begins with a game against Klopp’s former employers, Borussia Dortmund.
There is unlikely to be any shortage of funds given Liverpool’s success on the field last season. The Champions League success will yield the club around £100 million while the second-place finish in the league will add around £150 million. Even if a sizeable portion of the transfer budget went into meeting the wage demands of the players, Klopp will still have a decent transfer kitty at his disposal. Even if Barcelona are ready to listen to offers for players like Coutinho, it does not mean that these players will come for cheap.
Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo is another who interests Liverpool. After a brilliant campaign with the Spanish team, the 21-year-old looks set to depart the Benito Villamarin Stadium. Liverpool are keen on bypassing any transfer talks by activating his £45 million release clause, but the Reds face competition from the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona. Firpo would be an ideal replacement for Moreno, who lost out to Andrew Robertson for much of last season.