Jurgen Klopp will have a number of things to sort out at Liverpool in 2023 to ensure the club’s season and long-term future is a success
Liverpool have enjoyed a relatively successful 2022, but Jurgen Klopp will hope that 2023 will be even better for his side.
The Reds managed to win two major trophies with the FA Cup and Carabao Cup. And they were two matches away from achieving an unprecedented quadruple until the final weeks of last season.
However, the 2022/23 season has been much more of a rollercoaster in terms of inconsistent results for Klopp’s side. Their form has left them in sixth place in the Premier League table going into their Boxing Day fixture against Aston Villa.
With the New Year fast approaching, and with it the January transfer window, Klopp will have some priorities that he will feel he needs to achieve in the early weeks of 2023. Here, we take a look at what they might be and how important they are to Liverpool’s season and long-term future.
Bring in midfield reinforcements
It’s a topic that has been an intense subject of debate for the past 18 months or so, Ever since GIni Wijnaldum left on a free transfer, there have been arguments about whether or not Liverpool need further reinforcements in midfield.
As time has gone on, those arguments have become increasingly persuasive. And with three midfielders currently out of contract at the end of the season, the time may be right to add more depth to the midfield options.
The likes of Jude Bellingham and Enzo Fernandez have been heavily linked with moves in recent weeks and months. But the money it would take to sign even one of those players would be well in excess of £100m, which may not be what Liverpool want to do unless absolutely necessary.
Other midfielders such as Sofyan Amrabat have also been linked, who could be an option in the January market. But while these are the names mentioned in recent reports, there are likely to be others on Liverpool’s list who they are considering that many don’t even know about.
Regardless, bringing in midfielder reinforcements is important for two main reasons. One, making sure Liverpool have the best chance of finishing in the top four this season and competing for a trophy; and two, ensuring the club is in a stable place long-term and a major overhaul isn’t needed within one window next summer.
Get the squad performing consistently
In terms of action on the pitch, Liverpool have been largely inconsistent this season. Their Premier League results read six wins, four draws and four defeats – almost the very definition of mid-table.
Before the season was halted for the World Cup, Liverpool won consecutive league matches against Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton. Klopp and co will hope to continue that form when they face Aston Villa and Leicester before 2022 comes to a close.
Then for 2023, Liverpool will need to show the consistency which helped them compete for the Premier League title over the last few years in order to close the gap on their rivals. The gap between themselves and the Champions League places is seven points with a game in hand.
Injuries will certainly have played a part in the inconsistent results so far, and the fact that Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota are still on the sidelines will not help matters. But Klopp has dealt with much tougher tasks in the past and succeeded, and Liverpool fans will be hoping for the same again in 2023.
Sort out of contract players
As previously mentioned, Liverpool have three midfielders out of contract in the summer of 2023. These are James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita.
Roberto Firmino is another player whose deal is set to expire at the end of the season. Although, in the case of the Brazilian, there have been reports that a contract offer could be on the cards in the coming weeks or months.
Klopp and Liverpool will, of course, not likely comment on whether new deals for any of the players unless something is close to being agreed. And whether or not the club dips into the transfer market in January will give an indication of their plans for the out of contract players.
Firmino, it could be argued, is the player out of that four who has had the greatest impact on Liverpool’s season so far. But that doesn’t necessarily mean anything in terms of the club’s long-term plans.
What is certain is that by the end of January, Liverpool must know for absolute certainty which players are staying or going for free at the end of the season.