Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp faces questions on recruitment after Champions League exit to Real Madrid

Liverpool had chances at Anfield but their 3-1 defeat in Madrid was enough for them to be eliminated from the Champions League

Liverpool’s all-conquering season, which earned them the club’s first league title in 30 years, seemed an age away when they were eliminated by Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals at an abandoned Anfield.

Jürgen Klopp’s team, who had everyone in the league in front of them last season, only has the top 4 in the Premier League – and a place in the European elite competition next season – to get something out of this fragmented, disappointing one Get out of situation, injury-related campaign.

When Zinedine Zidane’s players were celebrating a professional job, they were preparing a Champions League semi-final against ChelseaKlopp has had to ponder Liverpool’s fall over the past 12 months.

Undoubtedly, frustrated Reds fans urge him to renew a roster that has served him and the club great over the past few years – in fact, the social media jury gave that verdict shortly after leaving.

The manager will rightly protect himself from overreaction. Liverpool have achieved too much and too many high profile players for that – but that doesn’t mean they don’t have serious issues to consider.

Does this Liverpool squad really need a major overhaul or just a minor refresh?

A team as good as Liverpool seem like an unlikely candidate for a major makeover – but fresh faces can create momentum, renewal and a new vibe, and this group has been together for a long time.

When Liverpool and Real met in the Champions League final in Kiev in 2018, seven of them competed in Anfield on Wednesday.

Liverpool versus Real MadridLiverpool have not seen their last five Champions League games against Real Madrid

And for the past three years, Liverpool have continued to rely heavily on these seven Kiev starters on all fronts.

They have had a very heavy workload for a long time and while Diogo Jota who was excellent and Thiago Alcantara who has not eased the burden in phases this season have Liverpool’s squad and the best starting line-up still has a very familiar one Look. It is inevitable that it has taken its toll.

Injuries have been the backdrop to all of Liverpool’s efforts this season and their inspiring leader – and one of the best center-backs in the world – Virgil van Dijk is expected to be fit for the start of next season since the serious knee injury that kept him from doing so September.

Another fine talent, Joe Gomez, should also be back after a similar injury, but there is no question that central reinforcement on the defensive is needed. It remains to be seen whether it is Ozan Kabak, who is currently on loan from Schalke, or RB Leipzig’s outstanding 24-year-old Ibrahima Konate. Nat Phillips was excellent, but Klopp needs more strength and quality.

Klopp has plenty of resources in midfield but Georginio Wijnaldum’s reluctance to sign a new deal hints at his departure while Jordan Henderson, still a big influence at 30, was sorely missed during his injury break.

Thiago was supposed to be a tempo-dictating game changer following his arrival from last season’s Champions League winner Bayern Munich, but he struggled and it was telling that he didn’t start any section of these quarter-finals other than this looked from games he was signed for.

Liverpool are relaxed about speculation about Mohamed Salah’s future. The Egyptian is 29 years old as of June but still world class that he would charge a huge fee. It would be a huge shock if a situation developed where he left Anfield this summer.

The complications can arise if Liverpool fail to reach next season’s Champions League. This is a real possibility as Liverpool are currently in sixth place and three points behind the surprise package West Ham in fourth place.

The idea of ​​taking part in the smaller competitions in Europe could occupy the minds of people like Salah.

Jota has been a huge hit since taking on £ 45million from Wolves and Liverpool that summer to provide competition, rest and support to his three main strikers for the next season – though Roberto Firmino’s indifferent form means he may face a real one The Portuguese fight for his place.

But even if Liverpool don’t make it to the Champions League, this is a time for measured judgments and careful recruiting rather than demolishing the monument to the success that has brought Klopp and his players European and national glory over the previous two seasons.

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Jack

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