Kylian Mbappe: Forward has become 'more ruthless'
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Jurgen Klopp’s side has largely gone unchanged over the past few years apart from a few signings. Last summer’s arrival of Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas was the first time Liverpool had spent over £10million in a transfer market since 2018, the year that the likes of Fabinho, Alisson and Virgil van Dijk joined.
And a lack of changes to the playing staff has largely come from Liverpool’s huge success in the past two seasons having won the Champions League and Premier League.
But as previous title-winning managers will attest, time never stands still in football and Liverpool have been guilty of doing that in the transfer window of late.
Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United have all slowly been building squads capable of bettering Jurgen Klopp’s side and that’s been proven this year.
Liverpool’s defence of their Premier League crown has been hampered by an array of injuries to the defensive line but they’ve also looked void of any real threat further up the pitch this season.
Mohamed Salah may sit top of the Premier League’s goalscoring chart, but there has been some criticism for Sadio Mane and particularly Roberto Firmino.
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And there has been a lack of creativity from the middle of the park with Xherdan Shaqiri the only midfielder to register more than one assist in the Premier League this campaign.
Liverpool’s transfer model ever since Klopp took charge has been on the cautious side compared to their rivals, but they have splashed the cash when needed.
Van Dijk and Alisson in particular were game-changing signings at Liverpool and big money was needed to sign both of them.
And a shake up at Anfield this summer may well be what Klopp needs with a host of players expected to leave to help prop up Liverpool’s budget.
Marko Grujic, Harry Wilson and Takumi Minamino are currently out on loan with question marks over their futures beyond this season.
Then there’s players such as Joel Matip, Divock Origi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Shaqiri who have either suffered from regular injuries or struggled to make an impact and could well be sold on.
And Salah’s future also remains unclear with increased speculation that he is favouring a move to Spain.
The Egypt international turns 29 years of age this summer and remains in the prime of his career but this may also be the last time Liverpool could demand a huge offer for their prized asset.
But if Liverpool have any hope of trying to sign Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain then Salah may be the one who has to make way.
There have been teasing rumours over the past few years on Liverpool’s supposed interest in Mbappe and, with the France international not yet committing his future to PSG, there could be an opportunity to make a bid this summer.
Klopp will want reinforcements elsewhere though and the defence is arguably the most important position of all and the ideal target would be available as a free agent – David Alaba.
Real Madrid appear to be the favourites for his signature but Liverpool may well offer Alaba more regular minutes to partner Virgil van Dijk next season while the Austrian may have to battle Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane at the Bernabeu.
Lastly, signing a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum will be a priority should he go on to leave for Barcelona.
And the revitalised Renato Sanches could be the man to fill that hole left by Wijnaldum.
The former Swansea midfielder has been a sensation for Lille over the past two seasons, playing a crucial role in their surprise title battle with PSG.
But the French side are reportedly looking to balance their books this summer and that could open the door for Sanches to return to England.
Liverpool’s transfer activity when it comes to arrivals may also depend on whether or not they qualify for next year’s Champions League.
They currently sit five points adrift of Chelsea in the table with nine games remaining.
Liverpool’s best-case squad for 2021/22 season
Goalkeepers: Alisson, Caoimhin Kelleher
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Neco Williams, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, David Alaba, Nat Phillips, Andy Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas
Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, Renato Sanches, Fabinho, Curtis Jones, James Milner, Naby Keita
Forwards: Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Kylian Mbappe, Diogo Jota
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