It’s been a while but I’m back and hopefully this time for good! How jolly can one be this festive season? Well, the £75 million deal for a defender and nonstop links to players who want to join the club, has the ability to make one enormously happy this festive season. Thank you to the club I love, Liverpool, for pulling off a transfer that was needed and wanted all at the same time while getting it.
The team’s intermittent performances plus, the on going transfer news – has made this December a busy, painful, but fruitful, end of year. Knowing we have finally got the financial backing of FSG, who runs this club has set a loud cry around the world, the manager can call on his bosses when needed! The doubt set around the Anfield side and their transfer failures has been silenced for the time being. It’s now for the record-breaking transfer to show his worth and play outstanding football to the value of his price tag.
As the last roundup of 2017 before a long but rapidly fast running year ends – we take a look at the overall performance of the squad and manager. Dive into the recent talks and rumours surrounding the club – who’s said to be on their way out and who’s on the club’s wish list. Many things to be cheerful for after a tremendous and better start to this transfer window.
The Reds overall performance for the first part of the 2017-2018 season:
The start to the Reds’ campaign was one of those 3-3 games, where they’d drop points from taking the lead – something the club became notorious for and accustomed to. From the first day the Premier League kicked-off, Liverpool’s defensive tribulations were on display. An opening game drawn between Watford and the Reds at Vicarage Road meant this club and fans were in for an unpredictable season.
The first six fixtures across all competitions, including this one, saw 11 goals conceded. During this time, Liverpool qualified for the Champions League for the first time, since their miserable showing under ex-manager, Brendan Rodgers, in the 2014-2015 season. Klopp and his men draw one, won three, and lost one on their domestic run, most notably, the hammering against rivals, Man City. Besides the shaky and embarrassing start to the season, the Reds cruised to victory over Hoffenheim and overcame their first top-six battle against a weak Arsenal with ease.
Next round of events:
The next set of fixtures while taking part in the group stages of European football was more of the same disappointment we’ve come to know. A couple of draws in the European competition and an early exit to the Foxes in the Carabao Cup, showed how real the struggle was for a clean sheet, or consecutive victories was. Ten games played by the Anfield side since the cruel whitewash by Man City, and they only managed three victories, five draws and two needless losses. One of those losses against a top-six rival, where the problem was as clear as the rays of sun shining in at Wembley Stadium on the day.
It was hard to digest as we saw Klopp make an immediate substitution to Dejan Lovren, a player that has played the weakest link in many of Liverpool’s mishaps. It was most disheartening to see the frontline do ever so well and get stabbed in the back, or get stabbed in the backline by the opposition – each time the defensive line failed. Imagine where this club would’ve been with those 12 points dropped from the 18 points they throw away? Most games, if not all, were games Liverpool was leading and then … the inevitable happened.
The Spurs defeat was the end of it we expected, but long did it continue to bother us when our defensive line was not up to the challenge. However, I can say, it did become better with work and time. Unfortunately, what added to this bad spell was the bad-timing injury of, Joel Matip and Alberto Moreno. The latter a player much improved and a player I thought I’d never mention in praises for the outstanding job he’s done. By far, the full back’s best season in a Reds shirt this season and makes him arguably the most improved player this term.
What was a joy to watch – was the record-breaking display the Reds put on in the Champions League. Whipping seven goals in with no answer made it one of the best performances this season. It was something to whisper to the European sides, the English giants have woken up from a deep sleep and they’re coming for their trophy.
The silver lining for the Reds in a time of dark display:
His a man with a point to prove to the world, a player who runs faster than the flight of Superman and foot is as lethal as the American Sniper. A player who happened to get himself a spot with some of Liverpool’s recent success stories, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, non other than – Mohamed Salah.
Signing of the season, not only in the English Premier League, but also across Europe’s top leagues. Salah has really made his name known after fitting in so seamlessly into Klopp’s fluent attacking techniques. To add to this, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been a breath of fresh air to the squad, displaying what the manager never had before – quality in numbers.
Liverpool while drawing a wicked amount of games has also scored a magnificent amount of goals and gone unbeaten since the Spurs loss. The team has scored 69 goals in total and has collected a decent amount of 12 clean sheets. Not too bad for team struggling defensively. The draws doesn’t help justify these good numbers in offense and makes it a bit hard to believe the club has one of the best attacks across Europe.
Fortunately, being joint second with Man City as top scorers in Europe’s top competition is no fluke. The team has steadily fought in the top half of the table for majority of the season. Sitting in forth place more than most of the other clubs fighting for the same position has shown the improvement under the German powerhouse’s care. It’s far better fighting for forth and taking part in the Champions League, rather than the Europa League and playing for eighth. But maintaining this form is key to us reaching higher heights. The idea of us fighting for forth only is mediocre, however, trying to see if we can overtake our rivals for second and third place shows intent once again.
Transfer rumours and links:
The clubs has always been linked with the best but hasn’t really made the best choices when having a number of options in the market. But one thing I’m really happy about, that has all changed. Players want to come and the club’s now shown they want to sign. With the right deal on the table and all parties in favour of a well-organised contract, the club seems more than likely to get their man.
After already signing African midfielder, Naby Keita, Liverpool starts the winter window in festive style. The club has acted fast to make sure they didn’t stuff things up too badly with one of the club’s most important transfers of LAST transfer window. What happens after this should be interesting and something to look forward to.
Players on the way in and strong links on players coming to Anfield:
There’s no better way to start off the transfer talks by rejoicing the inclusion of Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool. The amount of times I’ve written of this then, possible transfer, during its draining saga – is as high as the amount of the transfer fee. The fees of £75 million for the piece of puzzle missing for seasons on one, is money well spent in this testing time. It was the ultimate surprise ahead of a difficult second half of the season.
Other links haven’t really taken shape as van Dijk’s early inclusion. But it looks a lot promising to Anfield Edition. The likes of Leon Goretzka, Manuel Akanji and Jack Butland, have been the strongest link to the club before the window officially opens in the New Year, on January the 1st. Another rumour making its rounds is Sergi Roberto, in the swap deal for our wonder kid, Philippe Coutinho.
Leon Goretzka: Strong links and talks surrounding this young talent and Liverpool. Knowing he has a contract that run outs by the summer, makes him a hot prospect for the club, as they enjoy spending as little as possible and obtaining the best youthful prospect at the same time. He ticks all the boxes for the committee and has the German quality Klopp looks for in players. A favorable count for the Reds is Joel Matip, who played alongside the midfielder before coming to Anfield. Let’s hope he doesn’t have his heart set on Bayern…
Manuel Akanji: Another centre back on the rise and a player fitting the profile to the T – A player not many know about, young and on the rise. All in favour say I … I! Liverpool’s links to other players not operating in the defensive region made little sense, but knowing this man’s being strongly named in the same sentence as Liverpool, makes all the sense in the world. Let’s hope this one becomes true.
Jack Butland: Three keepers and another one linked? Not sure what to believe with Klopp being a manager that enjoys players improvement rather than searching outside of the club, makes this one the least likely to happen. The club has been in a goalkeeper crises – so the idea is not unwanted. But I’d surely go in for a more convincing keeper than Butland.
Sergi Roberto: The player nobody wants because we know what we lose on the other end of the deal if real. A versatile player and a player not bad on the eye – but certainly not the match winner we’ve come accustom to know. It’s hard to process the inevitable of the Brazilian’s exit, however, welcoming the Spaniard is not that easy.
Players said to be on the way out:
The usual names take to the page here after a season of rumours surrounding key players and players on the fringe in search of regular first team action, for a shot at a World Cup 2018 spot.
Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings names have been linked with such exits. A loan move for the former has been on the cards for a while. Southampton showing strong interest after allowing the Reds to take their most valuable possession, van Dijk. The latter [Danny Ings], has been linked with a move to a host of clubs with the option in the Englishman’s hand of whom to choose. West Brom and West Ham, are two clubs making the top of the list.
Two players seeking newer and different challengers are both, Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho. Most likely both will not move this window and hopefully it stays that way. The club’s stance being involved in the Champions League counts heavily in favour of them staying.
The clubs dealings and situation looks more than promising in this time. Nothing can put me down after the brace collected by Salah took the Reds into the New Year on a massive high.
Happy New Year and You’ll Never Walk Alone!