Who should stay and who should go at Liverpool?
With only a handful of games to go before the end of the season, Liverpool are still in with a great chance of qualifying for next year’s Champions League. Although there was a dip in form just after Christmas, the Reds have looked good this season – despite some noticeable defensive frailties – and Klopp has witnessed some great individual performances.
With Champions League football being strongly tipped by all pundits, there will no doubt be a considerable spending spree in the summer to bolster the squad. But who should make way for the newcomers?
It could be argued that Klopp could get rid of both Mignolet and Karius and bring in a new keeper he can rely on. Both have been used this season and neither really inspires confidence. If a new goalkeeper is brought in it would not be a surprise if Mignolet was let go, keeping Karius as back up.
Although individual defenders such as Nathaniel Clyne have been outstanding this season, the back line as a unit have not performed as well as hoped. Alberto Moreno has seen his place at left back taken by midfielder James Milner so it would be very unlikely if the Spaniard was still at Anfield at the start of next season. New defensive signings should be expected but there probably won’t be an exodus in this department.
Liverpool’s midfield has been excellent this term and the news that Philippe Coutinho has signed a contract extension was exactly what every fan wanted to hear. The Brazilian was definitely one of Klopp’s ‘must keeps’. Henderson, Lallana and the impressive Wijnaldum should all be staying as well and it’s only Lucas Leiva who will probably be allowed to leave. The 30 year old has been a great servant to the club but would see limited playing time again next season.
Sadio Mané has rightly been named in the PFA team of the year after a wonderful first season at the club. He has been absolutely outstanding this year and the Liverpool should do everything they can to make sure he stays. Roberto Firmino has also looked good while Divock Origi is definitely one for the future. Daniel Sturridge’s time at the club must be almost up however. Klopp obviously doesn’t see him as part of his plans so he should be sold now before his value drops. It was only a couple of seasons ago that he was one of the first names on the team sheet but those days are gone and a move would be good for both club and player.
Finishing in the top four would be a great achievement and will make a big difference to the amount Klopp is allowed to spend in the summer. It also obviously determines what calibre of player he can attract. Although a Europa League spot would be seen as a success, the fact that Liverpool have rarely been outside the top positions in the Premier League would make it feel otherwise. Liverpool should be able to hang on to all their best players in the summer – and make room for some new faces. The interesting question is who those new players will be.