Liverpool analysed: how two trophies feel great and disappointing at the same time – International Football

Every day Sport/Voetbalmagazine takes a close look at a top foreign club. We look back on the past season and look ahead to the challenges in the future. Today: Liverpool.

Strong and weak points

Strengths and weaknesses Organizing a bus ride through the city for thousands of fans the day after you lost the Champions League because you still won two trophies in the FA Cup and the League Cup, you have supporters and especially many opponents. The fact is that a ridiculously large number of people came and that Liverpool just had a farmer’s year. Although they might feel a little different at Anfield itself. If you’ve been looking at a historic quadruple (FA Cup, League Cup, Premier League and Champions League) since New Years and eventually miss the two biggest titles, your top season will have a bitter aftertaste. Where are the strong points of this Liverpool ? It is better to ask yourself the question: where are they not located? Like Manchester City, Jürgen Klopp’s Reds are simply a perfectly oiled machine, a crusher that leaves no stone unturned. Led by a sublime Mo Salah, especially in the early part of the season, and back with captain Virgil van Dijk who was all the way back, Liverpool once again proved themselves to be City’s only title contenders this season. But just like two years ago, a point total of more than 90 units and only two defeats was not enough for the title. The smallest mistake can be fatal on the other side of the Channel right now. So where can Liverpool improve? Where last season the shoe pinched especially in the back due to an accumulation of injuries, those problems did not occur this season. What’s more, with Ibrahima Konate the ideal backup, and more than likely successor, for Joël Matip was brought to Liverpool. Up front, the Reds did England’s best winter transfer with Luis Diaz from Porto, who even put Salah in the shade for a while. If you really want to hear a point of action, then we have to look for it in midfield. In Klopp’s system, there should mainly be runners with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho as the best examples, but a real playmaker is still missing. Thiago can put a ball on the tie like no other, but does not excel at all in goals and assists. On the other hand, Mo Salah takes on that task completely, but with a Kevin De Bruyne type, this seems to be Liverpool completely unbeatable. The coach: Jürgen Klopp cups. Not that anyone ever doubted him after a disappointing last season in which the club only finished fourth, but many did wonder if Liverpool were over their peak at the start of this season. Klopp didn’t think so at all. With Virgil van Dijk returning, he was able to rebuild his defense and all the puzzle pieces seemed to be falling together again. Klopp knows better than anyone how to prepare his team for a game and never gave up hope for a new title. Especially not when the Reds were able to overtake City after New Years and quickly became champions. Smet’s season is the lost final in the Champions League, in which his team was unable to make a fist against the Real Madrid block. Salah and co could not score a single goal, which also happened in the FA Cup, when Chelsea were shoved aside after penalties. Still, something to think about in the coming months. Player of the Season: Virgil van Dijk In fact, there is no one, not even Mo Salah, who is of such great value to Liverpool as Virgil van Dijk. Remember how Klopp struggled to put together the perfect defense until the Dutchman landed at Anfield in the winter of 2018 for a whopping €80 million. Suddenly everything in the team was right, resulting in the title two years later. Liverpool with or without Van Dijk is a world of difference. Last season he had to miss a large part of the season after the attack of Everton keeper Jordan Pickford. Klopp’s house of cards fell apart, not helped by the many other injured defenders that season. A title was a long way off and Liverpool eventually had to pull out all the stops to achieve qualification for the CL, which only succeeded on the last day of play. But now Van Dijk is back. And how. Everything was back to how it should be and that resulted in a top season. The Reds conceded only 26 goals in this Premier League, only City did as well. Hopefully for the Reds, Van Dijk will be spared injuries next season.The futureWhat will happen to the sacred trio Mané-Salah-Firmino? That’s about the biggest question any Liverpool fan will be asking for the upcoming transfer window. In all other compartments it seems that not too many changes are being made, but that is something different in the front. First off, Divock Origi has played his last game for the Reds. The Red Devil can choose another club on a free transfer this summer, with AC Milan in pole position. Second, there is Mo Salah and his expiring contract next season. Negotiations between club and player are not going too smoothly, with the Egyptian who mainly wants to earn much more and wants to be in line with KDB and Erling Haaland in terms of salary. He finds what he is now taking in unworthy of his Premier League star status. There is a good chance that Salah will leave this summer with his favorite destination… another team in England. So that could be a lot of fun. And thirdly, there is Sadio Mané who will almost certainly say goodbye to the team. His new destination also seems certain with Bayern Munich. The Rekordmeister has auctioned around 30 million euros for the Senegalese, who was again one of the stars of the Premier League this season. So it seems there is still a lot of work to be done for Jürgen Klopp. That doesn’t promise to be a carefree holiday.