It’s been a busy few days at Anfield as Jurgen Klopp looks to make his mark on the club with a busy Summer of transfer activity on the horizon. After taking the job last October he has been working with an inherited squad and now he will finally get the chance to shape it into his own.
But the biggest bit of business that Liverpool may undertake this Summer involves Klopp himself as the former Borussia Dortmund manager has signed a 6 year contract extension meaning if he sees out the length of that deal he’ll be in charge of the club until 2022.
That is quite the leap of faith from the club’s American owners FSG. Have they perhaps been a bit too keen in awarding Klopp a bumper deal. On the one hand it says that they are giving him his full backing but on the other hand it may be a bit early in which to reward the 49 year old.
Their were glimpses of what Klopp is capable of namely the dramatic Europa League win over his former club last season but the league campaign was a bit patchy. Yes there was the caveat of aiming to win the Europa League and the shortcut to the Champions League but that gamble backfired and now the club is left with no European football this season.
Does it perhaps signify that Liverpool won’t be bringing in any big names and this will go someway to appeasing the Anfield fanbase. The 6 weeks or so will answer that question but it is certain that Klopp will be looking to give the squad a overhaul but that may come more from shipping players out then bringing new faces in.
Klopp used the most players in terms of appearances last season but that would have obviously been to gauge who he wants to stay and who he wants to ship out and it seems the exodus is about to start with two players set to depart over the next few days
Firstly Slovakian defender Martin Skrtel is in talks with Turkish side Fenerbahce. The 31 year old has been at Liverpool since 2008 but his game time has diminished at the club since Klopp took charge, his cause also won’t have been helped by the arrival of Joel Matip from Schalke.
Last season saw his lowest amount of Premier League appearances in six campaigns and when he did play he wasn’t quite the fearsome centre back of old. Namely that substitute appearance away at Southampton when Sadio Mane ran rings around him was seemingly the final nail in the coffin in terms of his Liverpool career
Another player who could be heading for the Anfield exit door is Jordon Ibe with Bournemouth having a £15m bid accepted. At 20 years old Ibe is certainly a hot prospect but £15m seems like a lot of money for someone who is still yet to show his full potential.
Then again maybe that’s just the going rate for a young English player these days. 20 years ago that same amount of money would have got you Alan Shearer in his goalscoring prime. I guess that shows that times change and top flight clubs are now not short of money
It also says a lot when a club who has only been in the Premier League one season can think nothing of bidding £15m, a mark of how far Bournemouth have come over the last few years but that’s not forgetting that they recently cashed in on Matt Ritchie to Newcastle so maybe the offer will not that come as that big of a surprise
With those two set to end their time at Liverpool it certainly won’t be the last departures from Merseyside this Summer the big task now for Jurgen Klopp is who can he bring in to try and get Liverpool competing for a top four place this season.