And Reds fans may feel it can’t come soon enough tomorrow morning should their club suffers a battering from Europa League opponents Borussia Dortmund tonight, essentially ending their participation in the tournament and giving the team nothing to play for between now and May.
It looks set to be a particularly important transfer window in the club’s recent history. Many feel Jurgen Klopp is the right manager to propel Liverpool back towards Champions League qualification and yonder, but that will undoubtedly depend on how effectively the squad can be remoulded around his philosophy this summer.
With that in mind and plenty of dosh for Liverpool to spend this summer, with the Premier League’s new TV deal coming into effect, we’ve identified FIVE key objectives the Merseysiders must complete during the coming transfer window.
The cloud of apparent banishment from the top end of the transfer market – missing out on deals for Willian, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Diego Costa and Radamel Falcao to name a few – lingered over Brendan Rodgers’ three years at Anfield and Jurgen Klopp needs to find a way of lifting it this summer.
I’m not suggesting Liverpool should break the bank on Hollywood signings and add untold millions to their wage bill in the process, but a marquee addition would signal real intent on the Mersey outfit’s part and hopefully draw players of similar quality to the club in the near future. Likewise, it’s safe to say that Klopp, one of the most popular managers in club football, boasts far more pulling power than his predecessor.
In that regard, one name is already standing out as the summer transfer window draws in – German World Cup winner Mario Gotze. The attacking midfielder was deemed one of the most exciting youngsters in world football whilst playing under Klopp and Borussia Dortmund and is now into the final twelve months of his Bayern Munich contract.
In an ideal world, most Liverpool fans would like to see Jurgen Klopp completely rip up the Reds’ goalkeeping department, not only axing underwhelming understudy Adam Bogdan but also hap-hazard No.1 Simon Mignolet.
Having issued the Belgium international a lengthy contract extension earlier this season, it seems his Anfield career will span beyond the coming transfer window, but Klopp needs to find a deputy who can legitimately challenge Mignolet for a starting berth – and hopefully prise it from him during the course of next season.
Liverpool have been linked with a number of goalkeepers this season, including Stoke City’s Jack Butland, Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Real Betis’ Antonio Adan and teenage sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Alberto Moreno simply hasn’t matured into the top-class left-back many envisaged when he arrived on Merseyside at the start of last season. Although the Spain international has shown glimpses of great potential going forward, his defensive efforts leave much to be desired.
Of course, Jurgen Klopp will have Jon Flanagan and Joe Gomez at his disposal next season, who can both fill in at No.3, but a full-back of proven quality could drastically improve the Reds’ defence whilst maintaining the philosophy of Klopp’s Dortmund spell and there are already a few on the Liverpool’s radar – most notably FC Koln’s Jonas Hector and PSV speedster Jetro Willems.
Perhaps there are bigger priorities Klopp should address first this summer, but acquiring a resident left-back could see the rest of the first team start to fall into place.
It is abundantly clear that Jurgen Klopp can’t wait to see the back of Christian Benteke. He’s preferred youngster Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino – first and foremost a midfielder – over the Belgian battering ram this season, with his target man style seemingly a poor fit for the German gaffer’s high-pressing philosophy.
Having cost the club a whopping £32.5million last summer, Liverpool need to sell before Benteke loses any more value – which will definitely happen if he’s left to rot on the Anfield bench for another season. West Ham are interested, as are a few clubs from abroad, but Liverpool may have to accept a noteworthy loss on their original investment.
And Benteke isn’t the only Liverpool player essentially surplus to requirements. The aforementioned Alberto Moreno and Adam Bogdan fall into that category as well, alongside Kolo Toure, Joe Allen, Jose Enrique and Tiago Ilori.
There are two key players Liverpool are under serious threat of losing this summer – talismanic midfielder Philippe Coutinho and star striker Daniel Sturridge. Some might argue the Reds would be wise to cash in on both, but losing them just at the start of Jurgen Klopp’s tenure could really set the German gaffer back.
Indeed, Coutinho has firmly proved his quality in recent weeks, bagging five goals and two assists in his last ten appearances across all competitions, whilst Sturridge’s scoring levels reach almost one goal per game if he’s fully fit – which is admittedly quite a big ‘if’ in the context of the last two seasons.
PSG are believed to be eyeing the England international as a replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whilst the Brazilian playmaker is never far from being mentioned as a potential Barcelona or Real Madrid recruit. But already in danger of becoming a bona fide feeder club to Europe’s elite, agreeing improved contracts to keep both at Anfield could prove to be Liverpool’s shrewdest investment of the summer.