Liverpool Need Quality Not Quantity
The Europa League final was a disappointing end to the season for Liverpool. Not only did it leave the club without a trophy but it also means there will be no European football at Anfield next season. On the face of it, failure to qualify for Europe cannot be a good thing.
Big name players want to play at the very top level and that means the UEFA Champions League. Jurgen Klopp has got money to spend this summer, we all know that but having no European football to offer, is surely going to make it more difficult to attract the better players. The likes of Mario Gotze and Gonzalo Higuain have been linked to the club recently but even with his links to Klopp, will Gotze want to play for a club, who will not be featuring on European club football’s biggest stage?
Even the Europa League, which is often dismissed as being a competition English teams do not want be in, is still a draw for players on the continent. Also, big European nights is when Anfield really comes alive, the Europa League matches against Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund were fantastic occasions. These will be missed by fans next season.
On the other hand, lack of European football can benefit the club in other ways. Liverpool came very close to winning the Premier League in 2013/14 and this was without having to contend with the games and travelling time European football brings. This season, Leicester City have been able to name a very similar starting XI each week, while teams around them have seen injuries and tiredness force them to make regular changes. This has to have an impact on the Premier League title race.
However, to compete for the Premier League title, European football or not, Liverpool will need to bring in a player who has the character to lead the team. This became glaringly evident in the Europa League final, after Sevilla scored their equalising goal. Liverpool also conceded 19 points from winning positions in the Premier League last season and this needs to be addressed. Yes, Klopp will be looking to bring in talented players during the summer but the team also needs players who are mentally tough.
The players who have already been brought in, are not the type who will pull the team through, when other players heads are down.
Klopp did a good job last season, there is little doubt about that but there seems to be no driving force behind the Liverpool team on the football pitch. The lack of European football will make it difficult to bring in a player, who is not only mentally strong but a gifted footballer. A player like Granit Xhaka, would be perfect but although linked with the Swiss international, Arsenal stepped in. Champions League football surely being the factor, in addition to the price tag.
If Liverpool are going to bring in the players they need to challenge for the Premier League title next season, Klopp is going to have to use the draw of the football club and his persuasive skills because European football is not on the table.