Let’s do a small analysis of the problem that Liverpool could be facing in the upcoming campaign, as Jurgen Klopp tries his best to bring about a revolution at Anfield:
- A month ago
The Liverpool fans looked rather Klopptimistic as far as the defensive woes of the Merseyside club were concerned following astute signings of Shalke 04 centre-back Joel Matip and Mainz 05 shotstopper Loris Karius. The cherry on top of the sumptuous cake was an eventful exoneration of Kop favorite (and now Liverpool No. 3) Mamadou Sakho after he was vindicated by UEFA over an allegedly failed drug test.
Convinced by the bench strength and the wilting knees of ageing players, Ex Invincible and former Manchester City defender Kolo Toure (aged 35) was released for free and Slovakian Skipper and Anfield’s very own terminator Martin Skrtel was sold to Fenerbahce for a fee believed to be roughly around £5m.
- When calamity hits
It was not long after their respective departures that Melwood suffered a couple of fresh injury setbacks with former PSG captain Sakho and emerging English talent Joe Gomez, both unfortunately (and ironically) succumbing to Achilles injury. The England U-21 defender who had been nursing his ACL injury suffered during international duty last October confirmed the unfortunate news after revealing that he has “an Achilles tendinopathy” and will be out of action for a considerable amount of time. Mama Sakho’s injury was confirmed by Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp himself who informed his fans that the French International will be out of action for at least three to four weeks.
- The current scenario
The young Portuguese CB Tiago Illori will be leaving for the Rio Olympics 2016 (with Klopp interestingly convincing Loris Karius to turn down an invitation from the German Olympic Football team) and will definitely be unavailable for the first three game weeks. It leaves Liverpool with only newcomer Matip and Croatian rebel and an Anfield revelation Dejan Lovren at the back with Lucas Leiva (Out of Position) the only alternative if further injuries were to haunt Kloppo’s squad. There are obviously a few youngsters from the academy and the forgotten lad Andre Wisdom (who spent the last season playing for Norwich) but it looks highly likely that we shall be seeing an imminent arrival of a new CB to provide depth to the squad.
- The transfer rumours
News of Neven Subotic joining newly promoted Middlesborough was not too easy to digest either, primarily because everyone had expectations of the former BvB defender joining his Ex-Gaffer at Anfield.
There was another mouthwatering rumour linking the former Reds star Javier Mascherano with a potential return to Anfield following the arrival of Samuel Umtiti at the Catalunya club but I have personally learned not to buy these kind of rumors as I still wait in hopes of Xabi Alonso coming back after being linked with LFC in almost every transfer window since his departure.
Belgian veteran Thomas Vermaelen was also linked with a move back into the Premier League but replacing injured players with another injury prone defender would have been illogical and rather too lame for FSG’s Moneyball strategy.
Talking of Moneyball tactics, the Reds are being heavily linked with Augsburg defender and Estonian Captain Ragnar Klavan for the last 24 hours, who according to various sources is set for a medical at Melwood in the coming few days as Klopp prepares his army for the USA Tour of 2016 and the International Champions Cup.
- Who is Ragnar Klavan?
Very little is known about this left footed CB who can also play as a Left sided Full-Back, he might be 30 years old but the man has made his name in Bundesliga as a powerfully built, disciplined (only 2 yellow cards last season), reliable leader who is efficient in bringing the ball out of defense. Standing at 6 feet 1 inch, the former AZ Alkamaar Centre-Back played a pivotal role in Augsburg’s greatest campaign ever helping the German side finish 5th in the table in 2014-2015.The first Estonian to play in the UEFA Champions League, Klavan rejected a move to Everton last year by mugging them off due to his sheer pedigree for European Football, which must be music to the ears of Anfield faithful. He also impressed Danny Blind (Head Coach) earlier in his twenties but endured a complicated relationship with Louis Van Gaal (Technical Director) which shattered his dreams of joining the Amsterdam based club, Ajax. Klavan also failed to impress on his trials for Sunderland back in his teens as he had to wait another ten years to reach the best league in the world they call the English Premier League. The stalwart will definitely get to feature for the Reds sooner rather than later, should he eventually join the 5 time European Cup winning outfit from Merseyside. The reported fee for the CB who started out playing as an advanced playmaker is believed to be in the region of £4-5m which in my honest opinion would be an astute move by Klopp and Co.Jurgen Klopp in his latest interview has indicated 2-3 more arrivals alongside half a dozen departures before the Summer Transfer Window closes on 31st August, 2016.
Meanwhile Enjoy this bonus video exclusively for the Liverpool fans:
Thank you for reading, don’t forget to mention your views on Ragnar Klavan and who else do you want this summer in the comment section below. Cheers!