Saturday, August 20, 2022

Opinion: Three Tough Calls Klopp Must Make At Liverpool To Avoid Future Uncertainties

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Liverpool, the reigning Champions of Europe, suffered an ill-fated defeat against Napoli on the road. But they are flying high in Premier League and ready to challenge Manchester City for the silverware yet again with more grit, commitment and determination. The Reds did little business all summer but are well equipped with depth as well as quality all over the field.

Jurgen Klopp, the charismatic German, has already earned a revolutionary status in Merseyside. His smile, as wide as the River Mersey, has brought back those glorious memories after years of anguish, pain and despair. The Anfield chief, meanwhile, needs to make a few big decisions in the forthcoming future and here we have identified three such scenarios that should be resolved by the end of the ongoing campaign.

The Future Of James Milner

Milner, soon to be 34, is still one of the fittest players in the Reds’ squad. He is a beacon of consistency with sheer dedication, versatility and professionalism. However, the club are yet to offer him a new contract beyond next summer when his current deal would expire. Although the fans might demand his stay for a longer span, Klopp would observe more on how the season goes for the veteran Englishman before making his final call.

He started the game in Naples but failed to impress despite high work ethics. His final deliveries were disappointing as he lacked composure while making tackles and challenges for winning the possession back. But his experience, along with the ability to feature as a makeshift across the pitch, should see him earning a one-year extension as Klopp would look to utilise his flexibility if the situation demands.

Divock Origi – Left, Right Or Down The Middle?

The young Belgian is not among the most clinical centre-forwards, but he has had his moments donning the famous Red shirt last season against Barcelona, Everton and Newcastle United. However, he is still having limited minutes behind the outrageous Roberto Firimino who is irreplaceable in Klopp’s set-up and has rarely been influential from the left flank.

The gaffer is struggling to incorporate Origi in the starting XI but should not view him as a wide option going forward. A tweak in the formation might still work out keeping the 24-year-old upfront with Firmino operating as a midfield attacker in a classic 4-2-3-1.

What’s Next For The Loan Sensations?

Liverpool might have plenty of youngsters out on loan, but the impact made by Harry Wilson and Marko Grujic should be rewarded next season in spite of having a plethora of options in the current squad. Wilson is in blistering form at Bournemouth and might grab a place in case the Reds part ways with Xherdan Shaqiri who has rarely been relied upon down the wing this season. 

Grujic, on loan at Hertha BSC, is exhibiting excellence week in week out and might eventually slot in place of Milner whose future is still up in the air amid stalled contract talks.

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