A season which started with a lot of promise for Liverpool has turned into a fight to finish in the top four. The Reds suffered a slide in form since the turn of the calendar year which saw them losing ground on Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. The reasons are nothing new as the old defensive frailties along with some untimely injuries led Liverpool to lose points in games which should have been won.
Jürgen Klopp’s men have been abysmal against the sides in the bottom half but have been unbeaten in the games against the top seven sides. This may boil down to the mentality of the squad as Liverpool’s creative players often fall short against a team which likes to sit deep. The defence has still not been sorted under Jürgen Klopp which has resulted in many dropped points this season.
The Reds will have a sizeable transfer kitty this summer which must be utilised well to make Liverpool a major title contender for the next season. Let’s take a look at the three players that Liverpool must sign at any cost to change their image of being top four challengers to title chasers.
#1 Virgil van Dijk
Despite Liverpool signing two centre backs last summer, the problem has still not been solved as a perfect partner for Joel Matip still remains a mystery. Dejan Lovren has been highly inconsistent whereas Ragnar Klavan has been untrustworthy. This leaves a space to fill up for the Reds as they are crying out for a leader at the back who can sort out the issues and be a strong presence.
Virgil van Dijk has earned the reputation of being one of the best defenders in the Premier League and is the best possible option for Liverpool to sign. The Dutchman is strong in the air, tidy in possession and most importantly is consistent and a leader which Liverpool have lacked since the departure of Daniel Agger. He won’t come cheap but the Reds need to break the bank to sort out their back line which has looked out of sorts for too long now.
#2 Sead Kolasinac
Liverpool have played some of the best football this season among the top European sides but have struggled defensively which have caused them to not challenge Chelsea at the summit of the Premier League. The left-back position is a one which needs immediate reinforcement even though James Milner has done a commendable job in his unnatural position. He just can’t be trusted in the big games which will be added in the next season. His inability to cross with his left foot has also been a reason which has slowed down some of Liverpool’s attacks this season.
Jürgen Klopp needs to sign a left-back as James Milner cannot be the long-term answer to that position and Alberto Moreno is simply not good enough. A decent option is available in the Bundesliga in the form of Sead Kolasinac. He is available for a free transfer in the summer as he has rejected a new deal with his current club, Schalke 04. Kolasinac is strong defensively and is a brilliant crosser of the ball. He will be a brilliant addition to this Liverpool squad. The Bosnian is still pretty young and could develop into a top talent in the coming seasons.
#3 Alexander Lacazette
If you look at any Premier League winning side, each one features a world class striker who will score 20+ goals in the season and be the focal point of their team’s attack. Though Liverpool have some of the best creative players in the league and their goals have come from a range of players, they lack a consistent goal scorer who can stay fit for the entirety of the season and score the lion’s share of goals during the campaign.
Daniel Sturridge cannot be trusted to stay fit for a complete year despite his talent. Roberto Firmino has been a crucial cog in Liverpool’s wheel but is not an out and out striker. Divock Origi is still at a young age to spearhead the club’s attack.
Lacazette has been in sensational form for Lyon and has taken the French league by storm. The Frenchman has scored 30 goals already this season and is a proven goal scorer at the highest level. A lot of big clubs are vying for his signature and Liverpool will have to shell out a huge sum for him to lead their attack next season.
If the Reds do sign these three players in the summer, there will be no stopping the mighty Liverpool next season.