5 things Liverpool need to do to challenge for the Premier League title next season
Liverpool have had quite a season this time around. From losing their premier playmaker in the middle of the season to reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League, they’ve surpassed a lot of expectations.
The Reds under Jürgen Klopp will go into the new season with a strong core established for the team, with arguably the best attacking front three in Europe, world’s most expensive center-back, and players willing to play according to Klopp’s exhilarating tactics.
Mo Salah’s transfer has been an incredibly successful one as his production levels have been right up there alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s scored 32 goals in the Premier League, breaking the record for most goals scored in a 38 game Premier League season, and has been the ultimate protagonist in Jurgen's third tenure.
With Naby Keita arriving next season, Klopp will have a midfielder at his disposal who can alternate between being a ball carrier and a ball winner with aplomb. The kind that suits the system that Klopp uses at the club.
Here are some of the numbers which back that claim up. Naby Keita boasts of one of the highest numbers of dribbles attempted per game, averaging to about 2.5 per match, in his 27 appearances for Leipzig this season in the Bundesliga. He also averages about 2.5 successful tackles per game. The 23-year-old, with an eye for a pass, and is the perfect addition to what has been a rather inconsistent and average midfield.
Liverpool's goal should be to expand on all the good things that they already have going for them and to improve their weaknesses and consolidate on their strengths.
One would’ve thought Coutinho leaving would leave a gaping hole in their midfield, and the team in general, but it did not. Liverpool struck with the same confidence as before, if not more. They’ve absolutely outclassed some clubs in Europe this season, setting a record for the highest scoring Champions League campaign.
The Reds also hold the record for the most goals by a front trio (29), set by Firmino, Mane, and Salah. Klopp had his Dortmund team of 2012 win the Bundesliga against the outright favourites of the competition, Bayern, who boasted of a better team. There is no reason to think he can’t do the same if he’s able to fulfill the demands of his team this transfer window.
Here are the top 5 things Pool need to focus on if they want to win England’s most prestigious title.
#5 A proper Defensive midfielder
Liverpool’s defensive midfield options include an out of form Jordan Henderson, a makeshift DM in Emre Can, and a box to box midfielder in Gini Wijnaldium. One could’ve hoped Can will be the answer to the team’s lack of a defensive midfielder seeing his improvement in the position, but he looks Juventus-bound in search for game time after his contract runs out this summer.
Playing without a good screening midfielder has really hurt Liverpool in a lot of games this season, where they haven’t been able to stop the opposition from creating chances from the midfield and nor have they been able to win the second ball after a dual.
A prime example of this was their game against Manchester City in the first half of the season. Someone they should be looking at right now is Leicester City’s Ndidi. The young Nigerian arrived in Leicester in the window transfer window of 2017, debuting in a 2-1 win against Everton.
Physically imposing, good in the air, can shoot from distance, and an out-and-out workhorse, Wilfred Ndidi fits the Klopp profile and will be worth everything the club spends on him.