Liverpool supporters in the Transfer Tavern have used the first few days of 2018 to reflect upon their team’s 2017, a year in which the Reds returned to the Champions League, but ultimately weren’t able to add a trophy to their cabinet.
Jurgen Klopp took charge of his first full season as manager last time round and helped the club get back inside the top four for the first time since 2014, when they came second in the Premier League under Brendan Rodgers. And having made the last 16 of Europe’s elite competition this time round, and very much looking at a winnable fixture in the next round against Porto next month, Klopp deserves huge credit for turning things around at Anfield, although their wait for a trophy goes on after coming up short in both domestic cup competitions.
Overall though, many of our resident Liverpudlians were pretty happy with their side’s efforts in 2017, and are looking forward to what 2018 may bring for the Reds, both domestically and in European competition.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty of transfer talk for those Liverpool fans lining up at the bar to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that Bayern Munich may well have upset Schalke regarding their public pursuit of midfielder Leon Goretzka.
The 22-year-old’s contract at the Bundesliga side is up in the summer and as such interest in his services has intensified, although Schalke are reportedly unhappy with Bayern given that they have made their interest public in recent times.
As such, the door is ajar for Liverpool to seize the initiative in pursuit of the Germany international, as he could be exactly what they need in the middle of park in both the second half of the season, and in the years to come.
The Schalke midfielder has shown enough promise in the last few years in his homeland to suggest that he could go on and become a top quality midfielder, be it as a defensive-minded player in sitting in front of the backline, or someone who is willing to get into advanced positions and help in attack.
More importantly for Liverpool though is that they face the prospect of having neither Philippe Coutinho nor Emre Can at the club come the start of next season, and as such their midfield ranks seriously need bolstering if Klopp is to take them to the next level.
Coutinho has been the Reds’ orchestrator for many a year now but looks set to join Barcelona, be it this month or in the summer, while Can has improved markedly as a midfielder since Klopp took over in October 2015, to the point that he is arguably their best in that department.
Take these two out of the side, and Liverpool are significantly weaker, and as such Klopp needs to start bolstering his ranks to compensate for those inevitable departures.
Goretzka’s arrival would go some way to doing so, and with Bayern seeming to have upset the apple cart, the Reds now must seize the initiative and bring the talented German to Anfield this month.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!