Thursday, 26 May 2016

Klopps summer clearout




Liverpool reach the end of yet another season which promised much, delivered some hope and certainly pulled on the heartstrings, yet they finish it empty handed. Two finals played and two defeats mean that there is no European football to offer the likes of Mario Goetze as a sweetener to leave his European powerhouse, yet I’m still hugely optimistic for next season. This is entirely down to having Jurgen Klopp as manager. Like a man who realises his girlfriend is far too stunningly attractive and lives in fear of losing her to a flash car owner with a tattooed arm sleeve and tight fitting shirt, its hard not to think that Klopp will not be wooed by a footballing giant at some point. His rebuilding of the squad this summer will be pivotal therefore when it comes to potential success for next season. Predicting who will come into the club is almost impossible. Online gossip columns seem to have a chuck a load of names and clubs in the air and see what lands approach, so it is far easier to see who’s services history’s greatest German could dispose of:-

Simon Mingolet
Has become a byword in the Premier League for iffy goalkeepers. Eleven clean sheets places him sixth overall amongst his peers and it must be said that it can’t be easy playing behind that defence. Yet the Belgian never seems that convincing and his problems appear to be as much mental as physical. I think he’ll be given another season by Klopp as rebuilding work takes place elsewhere. Having said that, never trust a first team goalkeeper who chooses not to wear the number one

Adam Bogdan
You have to feel for the Hungarian, it all started so well as he saved three penalties in a League Cup shootout against Carlisle United. However that was as good as it got for the keeper signed last summer. He dropped a corner at Watford straight at the feet of a grateful Nathan Ake and conceded directly from a corner against Exeter City live on national TV in the FA Cup. It may be best for him as much as anyone if he is quietly let go

Jose Enrique
Out of contract this summer and his chances have been severely hampered these last couple of years by the arrival of Alberto Moreno. He’ll be lucky to be at Anfield next season and will probably go in the summer

Kolo Toure
Another one out of contract in the summer and along with Daniel Sturridge was probably the only Liverpool player to walk off the pitch after the Europa League final feeling a degree of pride. Enormously experienced and if the 35 year old decides to call an end to his playing career, hopefully he can be kept in a coaching capacity

Christian Benteke
If ever a price tag hung around a player’s neck like a millstone it was the £32.5m one that dangled off of the unfortunate Belgian. A pitiful nine goals in 29 appearances following his transfer from Aston Villa last summer, he has rarely inspired confidence in those either playing with or watching him as testified by a 44% shot accuracy. His nadir came in an FA Cup defeat at West Ham where he missed several easy chances which had he been in form for Aston Villa would have been gobbled up. Despite a link to the afore mentioned West Ham, it wont be easy to offload the Belgian. Liverpool, wont want to lose face in taking too much of a financial loss on a transfer coupled with Benteke’s own considerable wages mean that finding a buyer wont be easy. Unless you have just been given a free stadium that is.



Alberto Moreno
Has been unfairly scapegoated following his role in Seville’s equalising goal in the Europa League, but in all honesty his performances have been haphazard this season. However with a lack of real alternatives, the Spaniard may well have a stay of execution

Jordan Ibe
Personally I hope that this doesn’t happen. It’s always good to see young players come through for your team and Ibe is no different. The only sign of tension came early on in Klopp’s reign when walking off the pitch at the end of a Premier League fixture at Spurs; the hands on German appeared to give Ibe rather more than a playful slap. When questioned about it later Klopp’s response was “Well maybe he’s never been given one before”, followed by a trademark giant grin

Martin Skrtel
I think this move will probably happen next season, though there is a case for it to happen sooner. I like Skrtel a lot, though there is only so far being a mad shaven headed Slovakian who likes a tussle with Diego Costa will get you. If it wasn’t for the departure of Toure, the suspension of Mamadou Sakho and the inconsistency of Dejan Lovren, its feasible Skrtel could have gone this summer though I think he will stay.

Mario Balotelli
It’s easy to forget that he’s still a Liverpool player. Sent to AC Milan by Brendan Rodgers last summer for a year’s loan, it’s hard to see where Balotelli’s attitude fits in with Klopp’s Geggenpressing philosophy. The Italian has been linked with a permanent move back to Italy as well as a moneybags transfer to China



Lazar Markovic
Has spent the season on loan at Turkish club Fenerbache where his time was curtailed in February by a hamstring injury. I was surprised to see him go out on loan last season as I feel that he has a lot to offer, though Liverpool do have a lot of attacking options currently and Klopp will surely be looking to add to them. I hope he stays as I think that he could be a player that surprises and impresses the manager

So there we are. These are the players I think who will be most vulnerable to moves this summer and some it seems have reached their logical conclusion with their Liverpool careers, others though still have an awful lot to offer. If it was me and given the choice between leaving and staying to be given playful slaps by Jugen Klopp every day, I wouldn’t be packing my bag just yet

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