Ibrahima Konaté (def) RB Leipzig; Loris Karius (gk) Union Berlin – end of loan; Takumi Minamino (att) Southampton – end of loan
Harry Wilson (att) Fulham; Taiwo Awoniyi (att) Union Berlin; Marko Grujic (mid) Porto – loan made permanent; Georginio Wijnaldum (mid) – released; Ozan Kabak (def) – Schalke – end of loan
Despite sitting top of the Premier League table at Christmas, long-term injuries to the starting defensive duo of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez forced Jurgen Klopp to experiment with Liverpool’s defence. The Reds registered just four wins in 14 games between December and March, with this terrible run putting their top-four aspirations in jeopardy. However, Klopp’s men showed character in the last stretch and finally finished third thanks to a ten-game unbeaten run in the last stretch of the campaign.
Klopp will be happy to welcome back both Van Dijk and Gomez ahead of the upcoming season. The German tactician is committed to his preferred 4-3-3 formation, but Diogo Jota’s emergence means that Liverpool can shift to a more attacking 4-2-3-1 when they need to break down low blocks.
France U21 captain Ibrahima Konaté joined the Reds to shore up their defence, while Takumi Minamino picked up important Premier League experience at Southampton and he is expected to be involved in Klopp’s rotation next season. Meanwhile, Liverpool offloaded youngsters Harry Wilson, Taiwo Awoniyi and Marko Grujic, but were dealt a hard blow with Georginio Wijnaldum’s departure, one which has left a huge void in midfield.
However, should key players stay fit next season, Liverpool boast one of the finest starting line-ups in Europe despite Wijnaldum’s loss. The Reds have retained their spine intact and Klopp can count on elite footballers such as Alisson, Van Dijk, Mane and Salah to get the team back to winning ways.
To do so, however, Liverpool have to add depth to the squad, with their main weakness being that their high-octane style of play could pay its toll on players in terms of fatigue. Liverpool need to offload a couple more players and raise funds to sign a midfielder and one forward.
Only goal is to reclaim the Premier League title and they can do so if the health of all key players remains good. Shouldn’t have problems finishing in the top four.