Liverpool’s Dream XI under Jurgen Klopp

It’s hard to remember a time when so much excitement and anticipation surrounded a Premier League appointment as it has Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp over the last few weeks.

The towering German comes with a preceding reputation from his time at Borussia Dortmund, winning consecutive Bundesliga titles and reaching the 2013 Champions League final with the Black-Yellows, and it’s not only Liverpool fans hoping his arrival will disrupt the established order at the Premier League’s summit.

In order to do that, however, Klopp will need to make a few astute investments in the transfer market whilst also getting the best out of the Liverpool crop currently at his disposal.

But Liverpool legend John Barnes has called for Reds fans to be patient with Klopp as he begins his Anfield revolution.

Barnes wrote in his latest Titan Bet column: “Before we get too carried away I want to stress that it will take time for Klopp to get his ideas across.

“It’s all about having a bit of perspective. It will take time for him to get the players he wants, for the players at the club to get used to his ways and for the whole set-up to gel together.”

With that in mind, Football FanCast have conjured up this ‘Dream XI’ of what Liverpool could one day look like under their new gaffer, combining the Reds’ top performers with rumoured transfer targets.

Would this ‘Dream XI’ break into the Premier League’s top four? Let us know by commenting below!

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GOALKEEPER – BERND LENO


Despite entering his fourth campaign between the Anfield sticks, the jury’s still out on whether Simon Mignolet has what it takes to be a long-term No.1 at a club as big as Liverpool. Most Reds fans would like to see an upgrade during the next two transfer windows.

One such goalkeeper mooted by the Italian press is Bayer Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno, a prodigious talent Jurgen Klopp will be well aware of from his Bundesliga days.

The 23 year-old recorded the second-most clean sheets of any goalkeeper in the German top flight last season, an impressive 16 after Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, and has bagged another three already this season.

Having also made 244 competitive appearances at club level, as well as picking up 28 caps for Germany’s youth teams, he’s already attracted interest from the likes of Manchester United and Rea Madrid.

With his contract not set to expire until 2018, however, Bayer will feel under no obligation to sell the 6 foot 3 shot stopper.

RIGHT-BACK – Nathaniel Clyne


Nathaniel Clyne’s enjoyed a decent if rather unspectacular start to his Liverpool career and something tells me Jurgen Klopp will be particularly fond of the England international.

The Anfield gaffer always favoured adventurous full-backs at Borussia Dortmund – the likes of Lukasz Piszczek and Marcel Schmeltzer – and the 24 year-old is of a similar mould, offering ideal balance between defence and attack.

CENTRE-BACK – NEVEN SUBOITC


Having brought Neven Subotic with him to Westfalenstadion from Mainz in 2008, the Serbian international has already been mooted as one of Klopp’s first potential signings as Liverpool boss.

The Reds could certainly do with an injection of Champions League quality at the heart of defence and the 6 foot 2 centre-half fits the bill nicely, famed for his turn of pace, astute reading of the game and defensive work on the deck.

Whether the 26 year-old is actually interested in joining Liverpool and whether Dortmund would be prepared to sell remains to be seen – especially after extending his contract until 2017 just a matter of months ago.

But fellow centre-backs Sokratis and Matthias Ginter have both excelled in Subotic’s absence through injury this season so if first team opportunities become increasingly harder to come by, an Anfield switch could appeal to him.

CENTRE-BACK – MARTIN SKRTEL


The only defender Brendan Rodgers could truly depend on throughout his Anfield reign, Martin Skrtel represents a beacon of consistency and longevity in an otherwise chaotic Liverpool backline.

The 30 year-old seems to be getting better with age and Jurgen Klopp will almost certainly place the same level of trust in Skrtel as his predecessor.

LEFT BACK – ALBERTO MORENO


Joe Gomez has certainly impressed since arriving on Merseyside from Charlton Athletic during the summer but in a similar vein of thought to Nathaniel Clyne, the progressive Alberto Moreno is more befitting of Jurgen Klopp’s expected tactics.

Likewise, the Spain international has really started to justify his £12million price-tag in recent weeks after a turbulent debut campaign at Anfield, particularly impressing against Norwich City and Everton.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD – RUBEN NEVES


If we take the word of the tabloids at face value, then Liverpool’s interest in Porto prodigy Ruben Neves has only escalated since the appointment of Jurgen Klopp – who is reportedly a huge fan of the central midfielder.

The 18 year-old is still very much a developing talent but he’s already made 42 appearances for the Porto first team, recently starring in a shock 2-1 win over Chelsea in the Champions League – a competition he’s averaged four tackles and 3.5 interceptions per match in this term.

Liverpool failed to replace Lucas Levia during the summer and eventually decided to hold onto the tough-tackling Brazilian but the Portugal U21 could well be the rightful successor they’ve continually craved.

Whether Neves has done enough to justify his £29million release clause just yet, however, remains open to debate.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD – JORDAN HENDERSON


Not only is Jordan Henderson Liverpool captain but he’s also seemingly a natural suitor to Jurgen Klopp’s energetic style of play, famed for the box-to-box enthusiasm he brings to the engine room.

The Reds will be without the England international until the end of November due to injury, but upon returning he’s certain to reclaim a spot at the heart of Liverpool’s starting Xi.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD – PHILIPPE COUTINHO


Along with Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho’s starting status seems virtually impenetrable to the change in management at Anfield.

He’s been Liverpool’s most dependable attacking threat this season, bagging one goal and two assists in seven Premier League appearances, and is one of the few Reds left seemingly capable of plying his trade at a higher level.

Inevitably, however, the Brazil international’s form has caught the eye of Europe’s top clubs – particularly Barcelona. So Klopp’s priority in regards to the 23 year-old is to keep potential suitors at bay.

RIGHT FORWARD – DOMENICO BERARDI


Another Klopp target according to the tabloids, the towering German was keen to sign Domenico Berardi as Borussia Dortmund boss but a complicated co-ownership agreement with Juventus stood in the way.

Indeed, the 21 year-old has already notched up 42 goals in 102 league appearances – reaching the 30 league goal milestone quicker than a certain Lionel Messi – and is widely regarded as one of the most exciting talents Italian football has to offer, which is Juve snapped him up in 2013 and loaned him back to Sassuolo for another two seasons.

The Italy U21, best described as a right forward, rejoined his former club this summer for €10million, making it considerably easier for one of Europe’s top clubs to inevitably poach him.

Juventus have a buy-back clause until next summer, however, and Sassuolo will expect a huge mark-up if they’re to part with Berardi so soon after signing him.

LEFT FORWARD – DANIEL STURRIDGE


The compromise Liverpool will be forced to make in certain games if they wish to get Daniel Sturridge and £32.5million summer arrival Christian Benteke on the pitch at the same time.

The England international is certainly the more prolific goalscorer, bagging 42 goals in 68 appearances for the Reds, but he’s also more adaptable, having spent a significant chunk of his early career playing on the wing for Manchester City and Chelsea.

Likewise, placing a striker out wide is a tactic Klopp has employed before. Marco Reus was essentially a front-man before turning up at Westfalenstadion in summer 2012, whilst Gabon poacher Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also spent his first Dortmund campaign on the right of the attack.

STRIKER – CHRISTIAN BENTEKE


New managers can often spell trouble for new signings but Jurgen Klopp is a known fan of Christian Benteke, having attempted to bring him to Dortmund in summer 2013.

Brendan Rodgers’ tactics didn’t get the best out of the beastly Belgian, however, so in order to produce the kind of form he demonstrated at Aston Villa, the Reds need a change of strategy – especially in regards to how quickly they can get the ball to the 6 foot 3 striker.

That being said, we all know Benteke’s capabilities – something his wonder goal against Manchester United proved in abundance – and I’m sure the vast majority of Liverpool fans would love to see him become a huge success at Anfield.