When you walk through a storm– You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry and The Pacemakers
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark
The Anfield anthem runs as deep in Liverpool fans as the Mariana Trench. It tells the story of the current situation that Jurgen Klopp and his men currently find themselves in.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
At the end of the 2022-23 season, the Reds finished the season on a high after enduring a horrendous season for the majority. Liverpool finished on an 11 game unbeaten streak with seven of those coming by wins. The team improved towards the end of the season, but changes were still necessary, especially in the midfield. Klopp’s midfield resembled a plane about to crash, with buttons flashing and alarming noises due to its rapid descent. Injuries and age were a major factor in Liverpool’s struggles last season. Older players the likes of Captain Jordan Henderson (33), Fabinho (29), James Milner (37), Thiago (32), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (29) and Naby Keita (28) suffered injuries, with Thiago playing 18 Premier League games, Keita playing eight, and Oxlade-Chamberlain playing nine out of 38.
The English giants desperately needed to make changes like Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix! They sold Henderson and Fabinho to Saudi Arabia, Milner went to Brighton, and Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita left for free to Turkey and Germany. As a result, Klopp had to bring in a new midfield.
WHO ARE THE REINFORCEMENTS?
Alexis Mac Allister
Alexis arrives at Anfield from Brighton Hove Albion. World Cup medal in hand and the trust of Lionel Messi to go with it. The Argentine is a special talent who comes with a reference from former Liverpool midfielder and Klopp golden boy Adam Lallana.
“Special player and a special person,” said Lallana. “He’s a player that is so pure with how he plays. The way he lends the football, uses others, there’s no selfishness in the way he plays. It was so special watching him during the World Cup, not playing to begin with then getting used and proving himself. Then playing so well that there’s no way he doesn’t play, by the end Messi is looking for him.”
Premier League – Appearances: 101 Goals: 16 Assists: 5
Argentina (International) – Appearances: 17 Goals: 1 Assists: 2
The Szoboszlai signing came out of nowhere. It was Mason Mount from Chelsea the Reds were repeatedly being linked with the most. Mount ultimately joined Manchester United instead of Liverpool. Later, Liverpool signed the young Hungarian player Szoboszlai for £60 million from RB Leipzig.
Julian Nagelsmann, his former manager at RB Leipzig, once said:
“He can play in attacking midfield, as a left-sided attacker, or even out wide on the left wing. He can also do the same on the right. In Salzburg, he operated as a number 10 a lot and as a left-sided No 8.”
Bundesliga – Appearances: 62 Goals: 12 Assists: 16
Champions League – Appearances: 23 Goals: 6 Assists: 3
Hungry (International) – Appearances: 32 Goals: 7 Assists: 2
After Liverpool missed out on popular transfer targets Liverpool had to fill their defensive midfielder position. They tried to fill it with Moisés Caicedo from Brighton and Roméo Lavia from Southampton, but the two joined Chelsea instead. It was time to head back to Germany. This time, the search took them to VfB Stuttgart, where they found Japanese Captain Wataru Endo. The Japanese International had been working hard in the Bundesliga hoping one day England would come calling and they did.
“But yeah, I thought Caicedo had gone to Liverpool! (Laughs). So when he went to Chelsea I just thought, maybe, maybe.
“I thought maybe they needed experienced midfielders or something like that, because Henderson had moved, and also Fabinho had moved to another club, so I thought there may be a chance.“
“I heard that Liverpool wanted me, and it was so quick, I had to decide so quickly, but actually I couldn’t say no, because to play in the Premier League was always my dream.“
“I always [said] to my agent that I wanted to play Premier League, and play for a top, top team, so here I am!“
“My agent called me, and yes, it was a yes straight away that I wanted to come here. I decided immediately.“
Bundesliga – Appearances: 99 Goals: 12 Assists: 11
Japan (International) – Appearances: 50 Goals: 2 Assists: 2
This is one transfer that defiantly wasn’t out of nowhere. Ryan Gravenberch has been on the Red’s radar for years. Klopp had his eye on the Dutch wonder kid, but he went to Bayern Munich in 2022. It was a failure. Gravenberch seized the opportunity to join Liverpool after struggling to get playing time at Bayern.
“I’m very happy. Very happy that the deal is done and I’m finally here,” Gravenberch told Liverpoolfc.com. “If you see it from the outside, it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world. Also the fans, the stadium, I think everything from the outside is top. So that’s why [it was the right club].”
“I’m really looking forward to [being at Anfield] and I can’t wait to hear the You’ll Never Walk Alone song,” the Reds’ new No.38 added. “Now we start fresh again, a new start, and I’m going to give my all for this club. [My ambitions are] to win prizes. To win prizes, play a lot and show them who we are and who I am.”
Bundesliga – Appearances: 25 Goals: 0 Assists: 0
Champions League – Appearances: 20 Goals: 1 Assists: 1
Netherlands (International) – Appearances: 11 Goals: 1 Assists: 0
Liverpool’s midfield rebuild is 99% complete. The transfer window was successful for Jurgen Klopp and his staff, but they couldn’t sign a defensive midfielder. As a result, their midfield is still lacking. Klopp hopes that Stefan Bajčetić can help address the team’s problem at defensive midfield. They were lacking young legs last season in the midfield. Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, and Gravenberch are great additions to the team. It will be exciting to see how Klopp molds his new midfield. If history is anything to go by, they could achieve great things. One this for sure, Liverpool is back in that storm they fought so hard to get out of it feels a long time ago they were lifting the Premier League trophy in an empty Anfield back in 2019/2020.