Jurgen Klopp will reportedly get to overhaul Liverpool's squad this summer after being promised the funds to make "ambitious" signings in the transfer market. It will be welcome news for the German, who has struggled to improve Liverpool's form since succeeding Brendan Rodgers earlier in the season.
Klopp completing his Anfield rebuild will require bringing in his own players, something the Merseyside club is already promising, according to Spanish publication El Confidencial (h/t Metro's Will Giles): "Klopp has been promised 'ambitious' signings for next season, with the upcoming transfer window his first real chance to shape the Liverpool squad in his own image."
Remaking Liverpool in his image is something Klopp has found difficult to achieve since taking over. The Reds have reached the Capital One Cup final on the ex-Borussia Dortmund coach's watch, but they remain mired in ninth in the Premier League. They were also recently knocked out of the FA Cup by West Ham United after a replay, per BBC Sport's Jonathan Jurejko.
It's a far cry from what many might expect from the man who won two Bundesliga titles and guided Dortmund to a UEFA Champions League final. Indeed, it's currently difficult to see what Liverpool have gained since replacing Rodgers with Klopp.
Real change won't be seen until the German brings in his type of players, those who can bring his high-octane, maximum-pressing and top-pace style to life.
Looking at the current squad, Klopp needs a centre-forward with pace, an eye for goal and the ability to link well with attacking midfielders. Christian Benteke is struggling to adapt to that demanding role, while Daniel Sturridge just can't shake the injury bug.
Klopp's Liverpool needs a talisman to lead the line, the way Robert Lewandowski once did in Dortmund.
They also need a deep-lying defensive shield in midfield. Brazilian Lucas Leiva doesn't seem like the long-term answer. Klopp's best teams had Sven Bender protecting the back four and granting the full-backs licence to push on and add width.
Klopp is already looking for attacking reinforcements. He's rumoured to have asked Liverpool's board to sanction a £23 million summer move for Real Madrid's Jese Rodriguez, according to Spanish source Sport (h/t Charlie Phillippe of the Daily Express).
Jese is more of a winger currently, although he has potential to play through the middle, while he certainly boasts the pace Klopp covets up front.
But as much as Liverpool need help in both attack and midfield, the Reds also need an infusion of talent at the back.
Joel Matip Available
That's considered good news for the Reds, with the same report indicating Matip has already been on Klopp's radar: "The defender was heavily linked with a move to Anfield in January, and the Merseysiders are expected to step up their pursuit of the Cameroon international in the summer."
This latest development apparently could see Klopp step up his efforts to sign the 24-year-old, as noted in the talkSPORT article: "It is suggested Matip has turned down a contract extension offer and will now make contact with Liverpool about the possibility of reaching a pre-contract agreement with them."
Yet not everybody is convinced signing Matip is necessary. Writing for Metro, Liverpool blog This Is Anfield suggested Klopp might want to wait on the development and fitness status of youngsters Tiago Ilori and Joe Gomez before signing any new defenders.
That's an admirable approach but also a risky one for a team blighted by issues in defence. After the club's recent disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Sunderland in England's top flight, Squawka tweeted this dismal statistic about the Reds' back line:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Liverpool have conceded 2+ goals in 12 of their 25 Premier League matches this season. Needs addressing. https://t.co/Y6UpcM2KB52/6/2016, 10:54:04 PM
It's a problem that requires more immediate solutions.
Klopp can't ignore his defence this summer nor can he allow the problems at striker to persist. If the board delivers on its mooted backing, the German must prioritise adding "ambitious" signings at those two positions.
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