Having reached numerous finals in Jurgen Klopp’s first season in charge, it was fairly evident that a few more signings would help take the club from runners-up to possible winners.
The clubs around Liverpool were spending millions on new recruits, with their fiercest rivals setting a new transfer record on Paul Pogba. But spending large amounts of money has never been a proven method for success; it is smart business that always comes out on top.
So, let’s have a look at the business conducted by Liverpool, who didn’t spend unreasonable amounts of money, but still managed to sign the correct players to help them in their charge to the Champions League spots.
(Photo Source : BleacherReport)
The 24-year-old arrived in the Premier League for a reported sum of £5 million. A little-known fact about the German is that he was a part of the Manchester City academy but having failed to break through into the first team, he moved to Mainz 05 and eventually to Liverpool.
Just like many goalkeepers who move to the Premier League, Karius endured a torrid season between the sticks. He struggled with the pace and physicality of the Premier League. He wasn’t confident in handling the high pressure scenarios, such as from crosses or set pieces.
His shortcomings limited him to only 10 Premier League appearances, but in those games, he showed signs of brilliance, with his shot stopping ability and one-on-one goalkeeping second to none.
For a goalkeeper, 24 is a young age and Karius has his best years in front of him. All the signs point towards the fact that if he is ready to put the handwork in, he could be the first-choice Liverpool goalkeeper for many years to come.
(Photo Source : This Is Anfield)
A player whom manager Jurgen Klopp knows very well from his Bundesliga days, Ragnar Klavan was brought in to be the dominant experienced head in a relatively young Liverpool defensive line. Standing at 1.86m, Klavan is a strong defender and a powerful header of the ball.
In his 20 matches for Liverpool, Klavan was a solid figure in the backline averaging 1.3 tackles per game and 0.5 blocks per game. Klavan did have some good games, but his lack of pace and concentration led to him getting caught out ample number of times.
An underwhelming signing at best, with his reportedly low-price tag of €5 million the only saving grace.
(Photo Source : Sky Sports)
A game-changer in his own right, Sadio Mane was the shining beacon in Liverpool’s season with an impressive tally of 13 goals and 5 assists in just 26 appearances. With obscene amounts of money being spent on players, Mane at £30 million represented one of the shrewdest businesses of the transfer market.
Mane’s impact and influence was best seen when he was at the African Cup of Nations, a time during which Liverpool struggled in front of goal. His pace and dynamism add a new level to the Liverpool attack and without him, they found it difficult to breakdown opposition defences.
The Senegalese international spent the back-end of the season out with an injury, but at the age of 25, he still has to hit his peak, which could elevate him into an elite player for Liverpool Football Club.
(Photo Source : 90Min)
The German-Cameroon player joined Liverpool on a free transfer and has flown under the radar. With numerous solid performances, Matip has been the standout defender for Liverpool in the last season and has shown the correct signs to convince Jurgen Klopp to build his defence around the 25-year-old.
In his 27 appearances for the club, he managed to make 1.6 tackles and interceptions per game, with an average of 5.3 clearances per game. His presence was missed when he was not in the backline, and his quality is further ampliflied by his leadership skills and calming presence.
(Photo Source : Daily Star)
Having been relegated with Newcastle, Wijnaldum found a way back to the Premier League when Liverpool met the Magpies’ asking price of an initial £23 million with £2 million as add-ons.
Having made 33 appearances for the club, in the Premier League, he managed to score 6 goals and create 9. He endured a very hit-and-miss season, with signs of brilliance being overshadowed by games of complete anonymity.
The Dutch international has a lot of potential, and with consistency, can turn it into the level of quality present in the top rank of Premier League players.
(Statistics : courtesy of TransferMarkt, WhoScored)