Now that the ink has dried on Jurgen Klopp’s three-year contract at Anfield, the hard work begins to return the sleeping giant to former glories. The German tactician arrives on Merseyside with an impressive record with Borussia Dortmund – and the Kop faithful will be hoping that the 48 year-old’s successes in his homeland will rub off at his first job overseas.
One of the main attributes that can be suggested about the new Anfield boss is loyalty; a one club man at Mainz as a player, then seven years as manager, before his move to Dortmund in 2008. Klopp won two Bundesliga titles, including the League and Cup double back in 2012, and narrowly missed out on Champions League glory in 2013 with defeat against rivals Bayern Munich at Wembley.
Klopp has plenty of time to assess his Anfield squad until the January transfer window opens, but you can be sure that funds will be made available if the German decides to enhance his options.
Here below are five potential new recruits to the Liverpool team in the coming months.
A henchman of Klopp’s Dortmund side is German International defensive midfielder Sven Bender and he could be the man to strengthen the central area if required. Bender, 26 is the energetic, combative midfield enforcer that suits the style of the Premier League – and wouldn’t be the most expensive arrival on Merseyside. Bender with seven international appearances so far would be able to fit seamlessly into Klopp’s plans for his new team as the pair already spent six seasons together at Dortmund.
The goalkeeping position is often brought up as a serious debate with Liverpool supporters over a pint in the local, and if Klopp decides that Simon Mignolet should have further competition for the role, then Cologne stopper, Timo Horn is a keeper with immense promise. The 22 year-old has just 41 first-team appearances under his belt, but the imposing young German is rapidly improving with experience. It remains to be seen if Mignolet will be the custodian of Klopp’s choice, but Horn is a likely candidate if replacements are required.
During Klopp’s tenure in Dortmund, his teams operated with pacey, tricky wing play. Marco Reus obviously comes into that category, but a less expensive option could be Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez. The 24 year-old Algerian has started the Premier League season in blistering form with five goals from seven starts – and has been instrumental in Leicester’s excellent early showing. Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers often lacked real width, but Mahrez could be installed as a potential option to change the dynamic of attack at Anfield.
Many pundits have suggested that Liverpool have defensive fragilities at the centre-back position. Another possible recruit from Dortmund – Neven Subotic – would enhance the Reds strength in defence. Subotic 26, has formed a strong partnership with German International, Mats Hummels virtually throughout Klopp’s tenure at the Westfalenstadion, and it has already been mooted that Subotic would be interested in a move with his former boss to the Premier League.
Liverpool are already well stocked in the attacking positions, but a move for Southampton forward Sadio Mane would surely be seen as an excellent addition to the squad. Senegalese Mane, 23 is a potent threat in a multitude of forward areas, and would offer another option to join the talents of Sturridge, Benteke and Coutinho. Mane had been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United, but Liverpool could sneak in and grab the classy attacker in the New Year.