The 2016/2017 season was one of Liverpool’s finest performance in nearly seven years. The team pulled their weight throughout the season and had some spectacular battles against the top clubs. The Merseyside team ended up finishing fourth, ahead of Arsenal and ending their chances of an eighteenth straight Champions League qualification.
Liverpool has more Champions League titles than any other British club and their return to the top flight of European football has fans around the globe salivating at another chance to gain European silverware. However, analysts have pointed out flaws in the current Liverpool squad and many say that they lack the depth necessary, to last an entire season, especially with the heavy Christmas schedule and the commencement of the Champions League season.
Even more surprising were the rumors that Barcelona were courting the current Liverpool youngster, Coutinho. The Spanish giants reportedly offered a record fee for the attacking player and speculation around his move to Spain fueled a lot of controversy during the transfer window. Fans and analysts alike had conflicting opinions regarding the future of Coutinho at the club, as well as the manager’s thoughts on entertaining a bid for the player that was instrumental in last season’s success for the club.
Some experts say that selling Coutinho would leave the club flush with cash to spend on gaps in the team that needs reinforcement. Liverpool has been criticized for their thin squad that lacks depth in midfield and the central defense. Others critics said that selling the player would be a bad move as it would take away from the consistency that the team has built over the previous season.
Jürgen Klopp has remained somewhat indignant of the news and controversy surrounding the transfer market and has chosen to focus on the club’s strengths and the season ahead. Klopp says that he is well aware of the lack of depth in the defensive and midfield areas, however, he does not
believe that they will hamper their efforts over the Christmas period and as the Champions League begins to come to life in early January.
Klopp feels that the second half of the 2016/2017 season was where the team struggled to keep their form. Injuries and the loss of key players to the African Cup of Nations hampered the team’s abilities in the second half of the season. However, they did manage to keep their performances somewhat reliable, earning a place in the top four and another chance at Champions league glory.
It may be too early for fans and critics to decide whether or not the team stands a serious chance of making a run for the title. Some believe that the team will experience a dreaded pullback similar to what they encountered in the 2009/2010 season when striker Luis Suarez was sold to Barcelona. It seems that the Spanish club has the ability to cherry pick Liverpool’s finest players, just as they are beginning to find their form in the league.
However, this season plays out, fans can expect some excellent performances from the team. With a good start in the books, could this be a year where Liverpool remains in the top four and manages to bring home the local and European titles?