Aaron Curry analyses Liverpool’s first three signings of the transfer window.
There is no hiding the fact that Liverpool’s squad is one full of talented players, who have the potential to fuse together and mount a significant title charge which the fans so desperately crave. However, after ending this campaign eighth in the Premier League, it opened many eyes to the inconsistency that too many players are cursed with. Jürgen Klopp noticed this and has already begun to address the situation.
Initially, in Klopp’s first transfer window – albeit the less substantial, January transfer window – he made his first signing in the central midfield area. Marko Grujić put pen to paper in a 4-year-deal worth £5.1million. The Serbian international had signed from Red Star Belgrade, before going back on loan to his boyhood-club for the remainder of the season.
The majority of fans, including myself, were unaware of Grujić before this news broke. Despite this, Jürgen Klopp is clearly an admirer of his talents, which means we could be seeing a central-midfield pivot of him and Can. Ironically he is also a similar type of player to Can. He is tall, physical and extremely capable of dribbling past opponents with the ball.
On top of this, he is only 20-years-old which means there is plenty of time for him to mature and develop. The box-to-box midfielder would easily fit into the squad, but it would be much more difficult to see him there with the likes of Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen available.
In the same transfer window, Klopp added perhaps his most respectable signing in the way of Joël Matip. The German-born Cameroon international played as a centre-back for Schalke 04. He was due to be out of contract after rejecting a new offer from the club, in favour of a switch to Merseyside. This meant we were able to acquire the experienced figure for free.
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Since joining Schalke as a youngster in 2000, he progressed through the ranks until he reached the coveted senior team. He was a talisman for the club as he played in major tournaments, such as the UEFA Champions League. This kind of experience is in dire need within the defensive ranks.
Similar to Grujić, he is tall and physical which is ironic as he can also play in a defensive midfield role. Clearly he is a versatile player much like another player in the squad, Lucas Leiva. The 24-year-old German is likely to be a key figure in future seasons for Klopp, with his leadership a key characteristic.
Matip also made the Bundesliga Team of the Season along with some household names, which highlights his talents he will bring next season.
The January window closed and Klopp had to wait until after the disappointment of the Europa League final in order to secure his third signing.
Loris Karius joined the Reds on 24th May 2016 from Bundesliga side Mainz. The fee was said to be undisclosed, however reports suggested that the Reds paid as little as £4.7 million. The German shot-stopper said that Jürgen Klopp was the deciding factor in making the move – something that fans will come to expect in the near future.
Karius made over 100 appearances for Mainz, after switching from Manchester City in 2012. In the most recent season, he kept a respectable 9 clean sheets which is perhaps, the most crucial stat for a goalkeeper. Although this could be improved on, the goalkeeper is only 22-years-old therefore he has time to grow into a world-class figure.
The German is yet to feature for the national senior squad, however with the likes of Marc-André ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp and Manuel Neuer available it is hardly a surprise. He hopes to get this chance by making his mark at Anfield and performing well under Klopp.
After putting pen to paper just over a week ago, it lifted fans spirits that Karius could finally create some well-needed competition for the No. 1 spot. He will be battling against Simon Mignolet, who since his dramatic penalty save on his debut, has certainly not set the world alight.
Jürgen Klopp is not one to spend big money on world-class players, as we can see from his first three signings at Liverpool – along with other signings such as Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels, in his time at Borrusia Dortmund. The fans however, will certainly be hoping that he can turn these unknown names, into household ones.
Featured Image – Getty
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