Transfer speculation is sure to continue rumbling on until the window closes on the 31st August. Liverpool fans will be hoping for some big name signings, to improve the starting XI well before that date, however, it’s not only the purchase of players which is grabbing the headlines, it’s the selling of players too.
Jurgen Klopp already knows which players he wants to keep from the squad he inherited last season and which ones are surplus to requirements. Striker, Christian Benteke, is one player who clearly does not fit the bill for Klopp and this was plainly evident last season. However, the Belgium international cost the club over £30 million last summer and it is very rare for a player to move for such a large sum of money, only to be sold on in the following year.
From the end of October until the last day of the Premier League season, Benteke played 90 minutes on just six occasions in the league. This coincides with the arrival of Klopp because prior to that, Benteke played 90 minutes in five of the first six Premier League games of the season. The conclusion, simply, is Klopp does not like Benteke, so it’s now a case of recouping as much money as possible and using it to strengthen the team.
With the new television money making Premier League clubs richer, the likes of Crystal Palace and West Ham have been linked, with the former rumoured to be willing to offer close to £30 million. If that is the case, Klopp will be waiting eagerly to shake hands on the deal with Alan Pardew and get the money in the transfer kitty as soon as possible.
Another player seemingly out of the door at Anfield, is Jordan Ibe. Liverpool have accepted an offer in the region of £15 million from Bournemouth for the Englishman but the player appears to be dragging his heels over the move. Liverpool fans wanted Ibe to be a success, after joining the club from Wycombe in 2012, as his pace and direct style of play can be exciting to watch. However, it’s his decision making and lack of tactical awareness under Klopp, which has forced him out of the manager’s thoughts. Klopp likes his instructions to be followed to the letter and Ibe struggled to give the German what he was asking for on the pitch.
It’s highly unlikely Ibe will be seeing much first team football at Liverpool next season but at 20 years of age, perhaps a year-long loan deal would be the better option, as far as Liverpool are concerned.
That being said, if Klopp can bring in over £50 million for Benteke, Ibe and Martin Skrtel combined, this money could be used to attract a great player. A number of young players around Europe continue to be linked with Liverpool, such as German midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud and Polish international Piotr Zielinski. However, these are not names which will get fans jumping up and down with joy, upon arrival to Anfield.
The problem is, Klopp’s transfer history suggests a man who is not happy paying big sums of money for players. The likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Neven Subotic, Ilkay Gundogan, Mats Hummels, Robert Lewandowski, Lukasz Piszczek and Shinji Kagawa were all brought to Dortmund for under £10 million. He splashed out the cash to bring in Henrikh Mkhitaryan but was not happy in doing so and his final big money buy at Dortmund, Ciro Immobile, was a flop, so his larger transfers have not been as successful, as the players brought in under the radar and then developed.
However, Liverpool fans should be happy that Klopp is willing to spend on bringing in quality players this summer, having already spent close to £35 million on Sadio Mane. The manager will continue to find players who are cheaper and he can train, to play in the style he craves, but recognises quality players don’t come cheap.