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28 Apr 2021 13:58:50
With nothing left to play for and this horrendous season finally drawing to a close, fantasising about a more positive future for the Reds is just about all we can do.

I went all Football Manager and started dreaming up what our squad could look like by the end of the transfer window, operating within somewhat realistic parameters:

Alisson (Kelleher)
Alexander-Arnold (Williams)
Konate (Gomez)
van Dijk (Phillips)
Robertson (Tsimikas)
Fabinho (Bissouma)
Thiago (Jones)
Henderson (Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain)
Salah (Elliott)
Vlahovic (Firmino)
Jota (Saka)

Outs: Adrian (Free), Wijnaldum (Free), Davies, Matip, Larouci, Grujic, Keita, Shaqiri, Wilson, Ojo, Woodburn, Origi, Minamino, Mane

To me that looks like a much leaner, balanced and healthier squad than the one we have now, bringing the average age of the squad down and building for the future. All of the incoming players are seemingly very obtainable, and have all shown tremendous character all season, despite playing for struggling teams, which in my opinion is what we’ve been lacking from certain individuals this season.

What do you guys think will end up happening?

Agree1 Disagree0

28 Apr 2021 14:15:32
I would personally want minamino to get at least a chance in pre season. Great against Palace and then gone. I think he of all the squad players can feel hard done by. A new country/ culture/ new club during unprecedented C.V. and then perhaps a victim of jotas form at that time, when I would imagine klopp believed mane or firmino would play their way out of their bad runs, leaving him with a front 5.

I can't say i know anything about Vlahovic either tbh so perhaps if I did I would be keen to offload minamino to raise funds.

28 Apr 2021 14:32:51
I have a gut feeling that we will sign Konate, Kabak, Bissouma and Traore. Elliott returning will feel like a new signing too.

I expect we'll see the likes of Karius, Adrian, Phillips, Davies, Matip, Tsimikas, Larouci, Wijnaldum, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Grujic, Origi, Shaqiri, Wilson, Woodburn, Ojo, Minamino, Awoniyi made available or allowed to leave. Though i wouldn't be surprised if we end up keeping one or two of Ox, Taki, Shaq and Origi. I think they'll all be available but doubt we have the money to replace them all in one go. Also doubt there will be many clubs looking to buy injury prone or underperforming players on huge wages, post-C.V.. Similar with Davies and Phillips, as i reckon one of them might stay too.

So maybe something like this.

Alisson, Kelleher

Wing backs:
Trent, Robbo, Williams, Milner

Centre backs:
Virgil, Konate, Gomez, Kabak, Phillips/ Davies

Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago, Bissouma, Jones, Shaq/ Ox

Salah, Firmino, Jota, Traore, Elliott, Origi/ Minamino

Fully expect Klopp to bring through a lot of younger players next year due to our financial situation. Maybe Pitaluga/ Davies as 3rd keeper. Beck/ Gallacher as left back cover. Koumetio at centre back. Clarkson/ Cain in midfield. Glatzel/ Hardy as strikers. Gordon/ Musialowski as wide players. etc. etc.

We're not in the right place financially to do much else. Maybe if finances allow we might get Sancho instead of Traore. I think it'll mostly be about thinning out the players with poor injury records and attitudes though. We're carrying a lot of players who offer us nothing but disruption and false dawns.

28 Apr 2021 14:34:54
Nice that AW, although a few options to consider.

I think Tsimikas, from reports, isn't settling well in the UK, so he may be off. We have a number of LBs in the academy but the fact that Tsimikas was bought implies they may not yet (or ever) be to the right standard in Klopps view. I wonder if the Elder rumours are with Tsimikas leaving in mind?

I don't think the Ox will stay. Unfortunately, his inability to stay fit will probably count him out, albeit his HG status is in his favour.

I could see us bringing in someone else in midfield, in which case, as well as Bissouma (who I think is a great choice to allow flexibility in our formation and allow cover for Fabs) . I see we are being linked with players like Neuhaus who score more goals from midfield, which I would see as a big positive.

In terms of our main striker, I think Malen may be a better fit than Vlahovic, certainly has speed in his locker and his stats are looking pretty good this season. The last striker we got from the Dutch league was pretty prolific and I understand Malen has no cannibalistic tendencies, which is good!

Finally, and this is more in hope than expectation, I still sling on to the possibility of Mbappe. I will stop there!

28 Apr 2021 14:37:39
I like the trio of Konate, Bissouma and Vlahovic but I think Tsimikas will also get replaced and Arsenal would want huge money for Saka. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Oxlaide Chamberlain sold, he hasn’t been the same player since his bad injury.

28 Apr 2021 14:57:21
I think OP is pretty close with ins and outs apart from Saka. Talk of Sancho but the add ons would make me think of looking elsewhere. I really hope we sign Vlahovic, he would make a difference. If Tsimikas leaves then we'd need a backup LB.

28 Apr 2021 15:52:15
I don’t think the talk of Saka is as far fetched as some may think.

If we sign one of Saka or Sancho, it’ll be because Mane has been sold, which would likely be as a result of Madrid or PSG moving for him (whichever one of them ends up without Mbappe by the end of the summer) . Sancho seems to have turned into a bit of a problem child, and any transfer could be subject to colossal wages and add ons as well. This could see us move for Saka instead, who is proven in England and has played with the utmost maturity, will likely ask for less in wages, can play multiple positions and all round seems to fit the Liverpool ethos better than Sancho.

We’ve been linked before by fairly reliable sources such as The Times and Football Insider, who have also indicated that Arsenal may look to cash in on the player to raise funds. It could end up playing out a bit like Sterling moving to City did, and given that Saka is carrying this Arsenal team on his back at 19 years of age, it wouldn’t surprise me if he were to push for a move. It would probably cost between £50-£70 million, but if we were able to acquire funds of that quantity from the sale of Mane, i doubt it would put us off.

A lot of ifs, buts and maybes but can you forgive me for trying to remain optimistic😭.

28 Apr 2021 16:20:51
Is there actually anything other than clickbait linking us to Saka? We know Klopp likes Adama Traore, Ismaila Sarr, Ousmane Dembele and Jadon Sancho. I wouldn't pick any of those 4 and Saka is actually better than all of them in my opinion. But it does lend itself towards Klopp having interest in someone with devastating pace when you actually look at players we know he favours.

I'm looking at this logically. Traore's price will be lower this summer as without Jiminez to play off his output has dropped significantly. Sancho might be available for less as Dortmund's financial model relied more than most on match day revenue. Dembele is also going to be available for far less as Barcelona are in a torrid state financially on top of their need to rebuild the side post-Messi. I'm sure Watford would sell Sarr at the right price too as they need to invest heavily to avoid becoming the new yo-yo club. With 4 players Klopp has very publically shown an interest in all likely to be available, i don't see a scenario where we don't sign one of those 4 if Mane or Salah leave.

I don't like it. I don't want it. But it's almost telegraphed in my opinion. I guess we'll see soon enough.

28 Apr 2021 16:42:19
Genuine question, Adam (and by the way, I don't like any of the 4 players you mention for similar reasons), but how much was Konate telegraphed? I know we have been linked to him pretty much since VVDs injury, but then we were linked to every CB in world football after that happened.

In the last couple of years, since he broke through at RBL, other than Ed001 saying Konate was much better than Upamecano, I don't remember Konate being obviously linked to us?

Just saying that the links to those 4 may just be (can't believe I'm going to say this! ) smokescreens?

28 Apr 2021 16:49:47
I think it's time we got a true finisher or a true goal poacher. Sure it will mess up the way Jota, Mane and Salah play, but that's messed up anyway now, so time to erase the chalkboard and come up with new diagrams.

A finisher like a Gerd Muller or a Sergio Aguero. A guy who camps out around the penalty box, doesn't move too much, has a low center of gravity, and has the knack to turn, feint or swivel and shoot the ball into the net. There are loads of guys who run fast as hell, lots of fancy dribbles, step overs (over on the wings) and then nothing. A guy who terrorizes defenders into mistakes, out-muscles them and just gets the job done, is what we need. If we had such a guy, I wouldn't mind moving Firmino back into midfield, because he's defensive and offensive at the same time. We came closest to having such a guy 2 years ago. Anytime Salah made it anywhere near the penalty box with the ball, you knew the ball was going in. It went in 43 times for that year. If we become mathematically out of Europe and have a couple of games still, I'd like to try Salah as our CF. Further up the field and just camping out around the penalty box, making a nuisance of himself to the 2 CBS, drawing them out when the wingers slash in, and banging the ball in if it gets to him and he can get past his man.

28 Apr 2021 17:23:06
Wholeheartedly agree ArAy1969, which is why the prospect of signing Vlahovic is such an exciting one. Go and watch a quick youtube compilation and it is clear what type of player he is, and to do it at age 21 in Serie A is quite impressive. Compilations are notorious for embellishing average footballers, but sometimes you can just tell how good they are. Great anticipation, strong hold up play, quick feet, crisp and accurate passing, a powerful shot and good height, all the qualities we need in our next centre forward.

28 Apr 2021 18:16:00
It's a fair point Zed, mate. I have no sources or anything. I just have a hunch Mane will go we'll end up with one of those 4. Probably Traore in my opinion or Sancho if we make enough money from sales. I think Dembele, Sarr and Traore will all be between £40-50m personally. Whereas with Sancho that'll just about cover what his agent wants 😂.

28 Apr 2021 18:54:14
I agree I think Mane will go, actually did his form suffer just before he left Southampton? Not biting an ear or anything (who would be crazy enough to do that?! ) but a bit of a slump? I seem to remember it did and that's why the vast majority of us weren't looking forward to him joining.

Like I said above, I'm ever the optimist, so the fairy tale of Mbappe (who has still got time to give us a few years of service and move to Madrid a few years later) may be doable. Yes his wages are a huge issue, but I wonder if a deal could be structured such that his headline wages do not break the broad structure we have?

But if not, I really do like the sound of Saka - home grown, c£50m or less and has great potential. I must admit, again looking on you tube, whilst Vlahovic looks very good, Malen looks better. He has the extra bit of speed that Vlahovic doesn't quite seem to have - more of a speedster in the mould of Mane or Salah than a Bobby.

28 Apr 2021 18:58:06
MK, I’d say this.

Traore - Waste of money, no goals and I think no assists at all this season, just a headless chicken with no end product. Neto is the player to get if you’re shopping at Wolves.
Sarr - Has done ok in the championship, but not much more than that. Plus Watford’s owners really do not want to do business with us at all.
Dembele - Might as well just set fire to £50m as buy that injury prone waster.
Sancho - Seems to be United bound and the costs are excessive when you rope in his agents fees, wages, signing on fee and transfer fee that have been bandied about, for that money you’d probably be able to get Pulisic and have lots of change too.
Saka - Just can’t see Arsenal selling no matter how much they need to sell to buy.

28 Apr 2021 20:58:40
I hope Matip stays. I think he is vastly underrated and underappreciated by our fan base.

28 Apr 2021 22:11:13
I'm 100% with you 6times on your assessment of every one of them. I'd be going for Eze. Similar player to Saka, but less hype around him because he is a little bit older. Saka is going to be awesome but Arsenal fans would burn the Emirates down if their owners let him go. Eze is going to be top class though in my opinion and Palace would be easier to deal with i think. Klopp has the hots for Traore though doesn't he. Hopefully as Zed said, it's all a smokescreen 😂.

28 Apr 2021 22:23:30
Traore has 1 goal and 3 assists this season.

{Ed0666's Note - I bet Kabak will surpass that stat by the end of the season.

29 Apr 2021 11:37:53
One goal and two assists in the league according to whoscored, but that doesn’t diminish the point that Traore is very average player at best and has no end product. Given that Wolves want the thick end of £40m we shouldn’t even look at this one.

29 Apr 2021 11:37:38
Ed0666, so are you implying that we should be considering Kabak as Mane's replacement? I suppose there was the whole Caulker-up-front thing, but this would be a bold move from Jurgen!

{Ed0666's Note - I’m ironically implying Mane needs to go and am supporting my narrative with ridiculous and nonsensical evidence.

29 Apr 2021 19:02:11
I know, mate ;-) :D

Gotcha :P.



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