3) The defence needs further strengthening
For the majority of the second half of the season, Liverpool’s defence has had some brilliant performances and have become less and less error prone. However, the night in Kiev once again suggested that further re-strengthening would not go a miss. Van Djik has significantly improved the organisation and has made Liverpool a threat from set pieces, while Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold both enjoyed breakthrough seasons. A more reliable partner for Van Djik than Lovren would be an upgrade while the bench needs modification as well with a much more able backup to Robertson important. But the most important of it all has to be the goalkeeping situation. Mignolet would likely be on the way out of the club while the Reds face a crucial decision with Loris Karius. The goalkeeper is unfortunately in for a long hard summer and would likely face the wrath of the fans with each passing game. The criticism would test Karius’ character and mental strength; however, the Reds do need a strong alternative if they are to continue with Karius only.
2) Squad depth
The Reds’ lacking of options was conspicuous in the final in Kiev when Mo Salah went off injured. Poor Klopp could have only looked on at Real’s bench with sheer envy, given that Zidane had the luxury of bringing on a player of Gareth Bale’s calibre from the bench while Klopp could only choose between Lallana and a young Dominic Solanke. Klopp could only bring on a half-fit Adam Lallana, who had barely featured throughout the season with recurring injury struggles. Klopp would cite at Chamberlain’s injury and Coutinho’s departure for the lack of options, but the highest level does not warrant excuses. A creative midfielder cum winger would be a top priority while the Reds have already strengthened the midfield department with the impending departure of Naby Keita from Leipzig and now Fabinho, who was signed from Monaco this past week.Klopp’s high tempo philosophy is bound to get on the players’ minds and legs in an exhausting season. As such, Liverpool need a strong bench if they are to contest for major titles in the next season.
This has perhaps been the single greatest criticism of JurgenKlopp over the years. His lack of alternatives when the opposition sit back and defend has been a major cause for concern. With Dortmund too, Klopp struggled to change things and in the end, Dortmund found themselves languishing on the 18th position mid season, before turning things around in the second half of the season that year. This season too, against United and Chelsea, both of whom were happy to sit back and defend, Klopp’s men failed to get in the game. Firmino’s lack of physical presence and the lack of ideas from the midfield proved Liverpool’s downfall in those games. Having now lost six finals in a row, it is about time Klopp figures something out. Without a shadow of a doubt, Liverpool have progressed under the German, but for all the eye-catching football, Liverpool’s rivals, Chelsea and Manchester United have won more silverware in the past two seasons turning Liverpool’s attacking football frivolous.