A success. Not an overwhelming one, but a success nonetheless. The top four is a big ask but they managed it, even without a good defence or goalkeeper. Rotation and a lack of real depth in these areas affected their season but going forwards they were what you would expect of a Klopp team.
Their fans would have loved a League Cup final against United but fell short. It’s a shame as next season those competitions are likely to be game time for the likes of Solanke, Alexander-Arnold and co. due to the Champions League.
4th for goals scored and goal difference. 5th for goals conceded and 7th for clean sheets. Here again we see their problem area. That does not however mean all is well going forward. All of the other top seven teams had a player that scored 17 or more. Liverpool’s top scorers Mane and Coutinho rank joint 14th. The question therefore remains: can you win a big trophy in England without a real focal point? Their fluid front three is attractive but who is supposed to be the out-and-out goalscorer?
Against the big teams that fluidity seemed to work, winning the coveted “Top 6 Mini League” trophy, without losing a game. The problem is breaking down smaller teams, with all the games they lost last season coming against teams that finished in the bottom half.
The aim, however much it may be ridiculed, is to emulate Arsenal. Finishing fourth while maintaining a push in Europe and at home. They’ll be entertaining but must compliment that with some steel and grind out important victories. They’ve added Salah for his pace but they must be able to contain teams in order to play on the counter.
They need to get rid of some dead wood and make money before any new signings arrive. That should include Sahko (for £20+mil), Moreno and Lucas at least. It could well be time to cash in on Sturridge and, somewhat unfortunately, Ings too.
Klopp has got his man in Salah. The midfield and attack looks set, while any further signings are likely to be in defence. Matip and Clyne are the only certainties, so another centre back and left back seem likely. Milner has done well but with Moreno not up to standard they may sign another, unless Joe Gomez can fill that spot after injury. At home Ben Davies and Gibson would be good choices, while in Klopp’s native Germany he may opt for Durm, Hubner or the experienced Badstuber.