Liverpool have been one of the most dominant teams in the Premier League under Jurgen Klopp. They have won three European titles, including a sixth Champions League crown and, of course, the Premier League. That last one was the center of his attention for 30 years and achieving it in 2019-20 surely places him as one of the great moments in the club’s history.
WE ARE PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS !! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/qX7Duxoslm
– Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 25, 2020
Klopp has assembled an extremely talented team that is known both for their excellent goal scoring and stoic defense. Even without three of their initial choice defenders, the Reds managed to finish fourth last season after being undefeated in their last 10 games. However, the club has certain players who urgently need to advance for the good of both parties and FootTheBall looks at three players who fit into that category.
The Belgian forward has been with the club since 2014, making more than 100 appearances. In that period, he has also been loaned to Lille and Wolfsburg for one season respectively. Origi was in impressive form for the French club, but a series of injuries in England meant he was never a starter. Also, the presence of better forwards at all times on the team hampered his chances with the first team.
Divock Origi on his favorite goal 🗣 “Definitely Everton’s. It is the goal they talk about the most in the city. It’s amazing. Love it. Show the hearts of the followers. It’s Liverpool, you know. “♥ ️pic.twitter.com/FHIZabVGdN
– The Anfield coat (@TheAnfieldWrap) Dec 21, 2019
Luis Suarez, Mario Balotelli, Daniel Sturridge were all preferred in the opening roles during Origi’s early years before it got even worse. Liverpool assembled their three current world-class forwards of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in three years, propelling them to silver. Despite her limited appearances, Origi has already written her name in Liverpool folklore due to her famous exploits. He was a scorer in the team’s victory in the Champions League final but, more importantly, his double against Barcelona to overcome 3-0 in the first leg will go down in history.
He loves a 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙩 goal 🤩
Our top 5️⃣ Origi attacks … and you probably guessed them 😍 pic.twitter.com/8mALsEivxu
– Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 21, 2020
His quick reactions from THAT corner of Trent Alexander-Arnold led to one of the best moments in Champions League history. He has also scored a winning goal against arch rival Everton in the final minute of the derby to become a cult hero for all fans. All of this shows that he is still an early-caliber forward, but currently, there is no scope for that at Anfield. He will make a decent amount of money and Liverpool won’t be much worse without him given his offensive wealth.
It’s difficult to assess Keita’s value as a Liverpool player, given how little we’ve seen of him since his first season. The Guinea international had extensive top-notch soccer experience with both Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig before joining the Reds. He started off quite well, making 25 Premier League appearances in his debut season, but that was the best he could.
Will we see more of this Naby Keita for Liverpool next season? 🤔pic.twitter.com/YEDJiA9T3Q
– Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) June 30, 2021
Like Origi, he was also bitten by the injury virus towards the end of 2018-19 and lost his starting job the following season. Keita is well known for being an area-to-area midfielder who can thread some beautiful passes, so it feels like he’s being underutilized at Anfield. Plus, the rise of Curtis Jones and the return of an impressive Harvey Elliot will likely see his playing time decrease once again. Klopp has also expressed his displeasure at some of Keita’s displays of the low point in a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League in April.
Naby Keita wasn’t Liverpool’s only poor player during the first half of tonight’s Champions League against Real Madrid.
But it was him that Jurgen Klopp decided to take away early, and to be fair, the Guinean might have few complaints 🔴 https://t.co/cPWOIp4XnB
– Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) April 6, 2021
Keita started the match, but was withdrawn in the 42nd minute and has not participated since. Liverpool are sure to suffer losses at their £ 52 million price tag, but they can still get over £ 30 million if they play their cards right. There will be suitors for him in this pandemic-ravaged market, as Keita represents a solid presence at a fair value.
CHANGE OF SCENERY
The most decorated name on this list and a stalwart of the game for many years. Shaqiri has been a loyal servant for Liverpool since joining in 2015, starting in series for his first three seasons. Like Origi, the Swiss’s downfall in terms of playing time came after the Reds settled on their current starting front line.
2 – Xherdan Shaqiri is the first Liverpool player to assist two goals as a substitute since James Milner vs Spartak Moscow in December 2017 (3) and Shaqiri assisted those two goals within 208 seconds of coming off the bench. Impact. pic.twitter.com/tJyJivStfL
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 8, 2021
He only appeared seven times in the league in his title-winning season, followed by just five starts last season without producing goals and just two assists. The signing of Diogo Jota contributed to his falling into the hierarchical order and together with the presence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the side, the future looks bleak for the 29-year-old. Shaqiri’s time at Anfield has been largely uneventful, save for a few major goals over the years.
– Premier League (@premierleague) December 17, 2018
Her devotion is known for not shying away from her role and adapting her game to suit Klopp’s style. His transfer fee will be around £ 10 million or less, but that shouldn’t stop Liverpool from selling to the extreme. He has given his all on the pitch whenever he had the chance and that will surely continue for whatever club he joins next.
Liverpool are currently well positioned to fight for the title once again next season. The return of their first-choice defenders will undoubtedly boost their aspirations along with the signing of Ibrahim Konate. The losses of the players listed here won’t have much of an impact as they have capable replacements in every category.