Which positions are Liverpool targeting in the summer transfer window? What has Jurgen Klopp said? And what do the stats say?
Which positions are Liverpool targeting?
Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O’Connor:
Liverpool will look to strengthen their forward line this season. The fact they even spoke to Kylian Mbappe shows how intent they are to add further quality up top.
It makes sense with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino entering the final year of their contracts while the potential departure of Sadio Mane, who has also got one year left on his deal, and Divock Origi having already decided to go, makes reinforcements in that area a priority. If Mane is to leave, Liverpool will only look to do business for a fee above the € 30m that’s been quoted and they would want a replacement sorted before allowing him to go.
With Fabio Carvalho due to officially start his Liverpool career on July 1, any further overhaul in midfield could depend on the futures of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino. Oxlade Chamberlain made 29 appearances in a 63 game season and hasn’t played since the FA Cup win over Forest in March, while Minamino made just 24 appearances and both could look for more regular first-team opportunities. Oxlade Chamberlain is another player with just one year left on his contract.
Strengthening the back-line does not appear to be a priority with Ibrahima Konate offering another option to Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk while Joe Gomez is able to cover right-back and center-back.
What do the stats say about Liverpool?
It seems strange to be discussing what a team needs on the back of such a successful campaign. If Liverpool are to upgrade in a certain position, it is possibly that of center-back.
When we compare the seasons of Liverpool and Manchester City, they had a similar number of goals, expected goals (xG) and goals conceded. However, there was a large difference in expected goals against (xGa). The fact that they conceded as many goals as Manchester City was due to the brilliance of their goalkeeper.
The Reds do have one of the best central defenders in Van Dijk, but they struggle without him: Liverpool almost missed out on Champions League qualification when he was injured for most of last season. Since his arrival, Jurgen Klopp’s side have lost 10 of 129 Premier League games with him in the side and eight of 39 games without him.
What has manager Jurgen Klopp said?
On other potential outgoings, Klopp said: “I do not want to see anyone leave but that’s life. No one has come to me and said they want to leave. It’s not the time for that now.
“What happened this year is possible because of the group; world-class players. Kids played their part which was nice too.
“I have no idea who wants to go at the moment but if someone comes to me and says they have a club they want to join we will speak to the club with an offer.”
What should Liverpool do this summer?
Sky Sports senior journalist Richard Morgan:
FSG’s top priority for the close season will be to tie down Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to new long-term deals at Anfield given their current contracts expire next summer, although easier said than done, especially given negotiations with the former have now dragged on for quite some time.
Liverpool have, of course, already signed Colombia forward Luis Diaz, who was originally scheduled to move to Anfield this summer, only for Tottenham’s interest in the player in January to bring that transfer forward a few months.
Meanwhile, Portugal attacking midfielder Fabio Carvalho, 19, also joins the Reds from Fulham on July 1 for a fee of £ 5m plus add-ons, meaning the club has already brought in replacements for Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who are both set to leave this summer.