Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland. Both of Europe’s breakout generational talents represent the two most coveted players currently on the transfer market. Whether Liverpool are to be in the running for either, could hinge on their Champions League campaign.
Let’s face it, the Premier League is done – and our top-four prospects are diminishing with each passing game-week. We must ask ourselves, then, what is the priority this season?
Make objectives clear
Liverpool have to be realistic about what they can still achieve to make this a successful season. Winning the Champions League would certainly do just that.
Yes, this is easier said than done, especially given Liverpool’s wretched form since the turn of the New Year. However, our summer transfer plans could hinge on what Jurgen Klopp and his team do from this point in the season.
The Reds are already in a commanding position to reach the quarter-finals, after all. With that said, Liverpool are effectively five games away from a shot at European Cup No.7.
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Now ask yourself – can Liverpool realistically still win the Champions League? Our current form would suggest otherwise, yet, stranger things have happened.
Looking at the opposition, Liverpool should still be one of the front-runners. Other than Bayern Munich, there aren’t many teams that have the experience or tactical nous to go the distance in club football’s premier competiton.
Manchester City and Atletico Madrid are teams to be feared, of course, but both have always fallen short in recent seasons.
Real Madrid shouldn’t be underestimated either, nor should Mauricio Pochettino and Paris Saint Germain.
Don’t underestimate Klopp
Still, Liverpool’s recent history in the competition certainly makes them among the favourites to go all the way, even amid their barren run of results.
The performance against Leipzig proved as such. When the chips were down, Liverpool were still able to use their experience in the competition to their advantage.
However, this leaves Liverpool’s Premier League aspirations in a precarious situation. If there is anything we’ve learnt in recent weeks, it’s that Klopp doesn’t have the depth to compete for both competitions.
After all, it was the same starting XI against Leipzig that surrendered so meekly against Everton on Saturday evening.
What this tells us, is that the squad are no longer capable of carrying momentum over a sustained run of fixtures. There are just too many mitigating factors going against them to challenge both domestically and in Europe.
How can Liverpool turn a corner?
So, where does this effectively leave Klopp? Well, it has become clear that the squad has to be managed more efficiently if Liverpool are to turn a corner.
What we mean by this, is that Klopp has to look to other areas of his squad to uncover alternative solutions. Players such as Ben Davies, Kostas Tsimikas, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita deserve their opportunity to help ease the physical strain on the team.
Regularly rotating between fixtures feels like the only way Liverpool are going to survive the season.
If Klopp can strike a balance from now until the end of the season, then there is every hope that something can be salvaged from what has been a flat, demoralising and emotionally-draining 2020/21 campaign.