Having become champions of England again by a whopping 18-points, the post title rebuild is now underway.
Out of contract midfielder and former England international, Adam Lallana, has now joined Brighton and Hove Albion on a free transfer. Meanwhile, Croatian centre-back Dejan Lovren joined Zenit St Petersburg for a fee of around 10.75 million pounds.
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Nothing but love and appreciation for the last 6 years. Thanks to the amazing people who made this place feel like home. To the supporters for accepting me and making me feel like one of their own. The staff – the world-class staff – without whom none of what we achieve as players would be possible. I can’t find the words to do justice for how much they mean to me… they are everything! To Brendan Rodgers, I will forever be grateful that he gave me the privilege to represent this club. To Jürgen Klopp, an even better man than he is a football manager. My teammates, they are my brothers. To share this journey with these boys has made me feel the luckiest fella in the game. To the Skip, Jordan Henderson… my best friend! No one deserves success more than this guy. It’s meant everything to be at his side while he’s achieved it. And to my own family, my wife and children, my mum, dad and sister… my own “team”. They made the good times better and the tough times bearable. I am so grateful to have been part of this special place. And now on to the next adventure. With love, Adam
Now the task facing manager Jurgen Klopp and the club, is who to replace these two stalwarts with.
With the new season starting at the later date of the 12th September and matches likely to be crammed into a packed schedule due to Covid-19, strength in depth will be paramount if Liverpool are to launch a successful title defence.
Liverpool have only three recognised first team centre backs now at the club, with towering Dutchman Virgil Van Dijk, England’s Joe Gomez and Cameroon’s Joel Matip. With the latter two often injury prone, a fourth-choice centre half is imperative.
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The game of football is everything to me and I have tried throughout my tenure at LFC to be the best I can. Playing for this amazing club was a privilege, it comes with responsibility. Wearing the badge was an honour. The last six years have been a crazy ride. We have been through it all, our relationship has been evolving and was a source of intense feelings… In the end, optimism, desire, togetherness and honest hard-work have brought us to the heights of domestic and European Football, moments none of us will ever forget. Before I first walked through the doors of Melwood I promised myself I would give all I have to ensure that one day I could look back and have the satisfaction of knowing I have given everything to the club that opened its doors to me. Today it is my turn to say goodbye to Liverpool FC. Although I am no longer a team member, I don’t look at this as an end to our relationship. We have written history together and our memories will last forever. None of this would have happened without the collective force that makes this club what it is. So, I want to thank everybody, in particular; My teammates who were always incredible competition on the training ground and amazing support off the training ground, I will always be here for you. The Boss, Mr Klopp, who was the man that installed an unbreakable belief in me and the team – I thank you for your guidance and inspiration. The training staff who have made us the savages we are. The staff behind the scenes that make the club tick – Our home would not be what it is without you, I thank you for everything you did for me and the team over the years, you know who you are. The fans – There has been a lot of love and criticism, and I respect each and every one of you, rest assured all I ever wanted to do is Win, and Win we did! The City of Liverpool – Thank you for having me and my family. You will always have a special place in our hearts. What else can I say.. I will miss the spirit of the club, the city, the people. I will see you around my friends, and I wish you all the best. YNWA @liverpoolfc
There has been talk that the Anfield giants were close to securing a deal for Algerian international Aissa Mandi for a similar fee the club received for Lovren. A fee of around 10.5 million is believed to be enough to secure the La Liga defender.
More expensive options have surfaced such as Diego Carlos of Sevilla, although he could cost in the excess of 66 million pounds.
An Anfield return for Wolves captain and academy starlet Conor Coady appears to be a long shot. While Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano may also be pricey, making Mandi the most likely candidate to fill the void left by Lovren.
In terms of replacing 32-year-old Lallana, a player highly thought of by Klopp due to his work rate and popularity in the dressing room, this will be no easy task.
Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, a 25 million target, with his contract up next summer, appears to be the most likely transfer target. However, Watford winger Ismaïla Sarr and Wolves’ Adama Traore are highly rated in the corridors of Anfield. Either player’s pace and skill would certainly take Liverpool to the next level.
Although, a younger alternative to Alcantara would be Ajax’s Donny van de Beek, who has been catching the eye of Europe’s top clubs, having once again delivered another stellar season for the Dutch giants. If Liverpool could prise him away from the 2019 Champions League semi-finalists, he could be some signing.
His team-mate David Neres, who can play in an attacking trio or as a winger has also impressed for Ajax, making him another potential target.
Klopp’s men may have been near faultless in their march to the title and securing an impressive 99-points haul, however, goals from midfield often seemed a problem. So, securing an out and out goalscoring midfielder may be high on the agenda.
Having seen Manchester United excel with the addition of Portugal star Bruno Fernandes, whilst Christian Pulisic has also impressed in the Premiership, going for a player of the calibre of Kai Havertz would certainly be a no brainer and would more than pay off in the long-term.
Meanwhile, Klopp may be looking to bolster his attacking options with Divock Origi failing to impress of late. In 2018-19 season, Origi was the hero of the kop in clinching the Merseyside derby in the final seconds. Whilst also netting important goals in the semi-final and final of the Champions League against Barcelona and then Spurs.
However, the Belgian only managed four Premier League goals in 2019-20 in 28 appearances and took till the final day of the season against Newcastle before opening his account for 2020.
Such lack of form may prompt the Liverpool boss to dip into the transfer market. With Lyon impressing in the later stages of the Champions League, Dutchman Memphis Depay might be on the German’s radar. Depay’s close connections with fellow countrymen Gini Wijnaldum and Van Dijk, may work in the club’s favour if they choose to contact the player’s agent.
Another Lyon player worth watching is Moussa Dembele, formerly of Celtic. Dembele scored twice as Lyon downed Manchester City to seal a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League. This shows the Frenchman is a man for the occasion and could well deliver in the Premier League, in providing added ammunition up front alongside Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Bobby Firmino.
Whichever transfer targets the club chooses to pursuit, the pressure to stay ahead of a free spending, motivated and wounded Manchester City won’t be easy.
Having made their first signing of the summer last week in Greece left-back Konstantinos Tsimikas, Liverpool supporters will be keen to see some more new faces added to the side as the new season draws ever closer.