Jurgen Klopp can make the most of Naby Keita, but Liverpool have a big transfer decision to make


Liverpool are almost back in the Premier League, but this week marks a year since the Champions League final in Madrid. What are your memories of that night and the celebrations that followed?

What an evening it was and, to be honest, I can’t believe a year has already passed. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was lucky to be in Wanda Metropolitano and the Red Sea before kick-off is one of the most incredible things I have ever seen.

Regarding the final itself, many people say it was a boring final but, believe me, when you are involved like the majority of the more than 60,000 spectators were inside the stadium, it was scary from start to finish.

The match arrived after a three-week break for both parties as well and we could see it. It was a really slow game at times but which you thought could break out at any time.

This is why the emotion released when Divock Origi scored was as much relief as complete and total celebration. I stood at the perfect angle to look at his arrow in the bottom corner after Hugo Lloris and I will never get tired of seeing him.

Afterwards, there was no way for anyone in this end of Liverpool to leave the Wanda until told. We were there until midnight at the earliest with the whole team taking turns to parade the trophy with their families.

I was inspired by Alisson for FaceTime my family which was as moving as possible, but when I finally left, it was unfortunately directly for me with a coach instead of the bars in the city center – otherwise I would have been stuck on the outskirts of Madrid.

A 31-hour trip to Liverpool followed, so unfortunately we didn’t come back for the parades but we watched them on our phones and took everything.

Seeing more than 750,000 people lined up on the city streets really struck home what this team had accomplished and how far it would have been accomplished since Klopp’s first game in 2015.

When the Reds return, Everton away will be their first game. What are you waiting for? Are things going to go back into high gear straight away?

It will be very different, but ultimately, I think the quality of the players will shine.

I’m a fan of the Bundesliga anyway, so I’ve watched a lot since it came back and it reached a very high level under difficult circumstances.

There has been talk of the lack of home wins and the success of away teams so far in Germany after the restart, but there have not been as many results that have really shocked me. Not yet anyway.

Of course, not having fans inside the field will take some time to get used to multiple players and coaches and even to watch home games.

We are used to the crowd that sometimes dictates matches and I think having no crowd will be a bigger problem for the relegation fighting teams than for the top half teams fighting for the European qualifier .

As far as the game itself is concerned, I expect Liverpool to win and advance in a stage in history, unless Arsenal helped us out on Wednesday in the Etihad.

Liverpool’s derby record speaks for itself and the whole team will want to take on the Blues after 0-0 at Goodison last season which could be the turning point in the title race.

Two wins and make history. That’s what my message would be before the reboot. Clear and simple but effective.

Most of the team make their choice, but in the midfield, this is where Jurgen Klopp has the most options and tends to make the most changes. Who is the best trio in the Reds today?

Jordan Henderson and Fabinho are my two certainties when I choose my best Liverpool midfielder three. They provide fantastic balance and dictate the midfield letting the attackers cause damage in the final third.

Like Andy Robertson, it took a little getting used to the swing of things, which is good, not all signatures are on.

Since then, before his injury this season, he has been absolutely exceptional and is rightly regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.

This tackle against Luis Suarez at Anfield last season was one of the best I have ever seen. I will never understand why it was a yellow card.

The biggest compliment I can give Henderson is how much he missed even in his brief absence in February and March.

Henderson has become a key figure in Liverpool in many ways and he must be in the midfield of choice three, not just because he is wearing the armband.

His leadership and determination inspires those around him. It’s not Steven Gerrard but he was never going to be. He is Jordan Henderson and he finally gets the praise he deserves.

As for my third choice, it is very difficult to choose and I think it largely depends on the opponent. I’m a huge fan of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, especially when he takes the ball and burst into the goal.

Gini Wijnaldum is a great player, especially for his performance as a sub against Barcelona. He’s so good at holding the ball and finding those pockets of space. I hope he accepts a new deal soon, as he still has a lot to give to this side.

Then there is James Milner. Monsieur Consistent. You know what you are going to get from him. Hard work, professionalism and a cool head at 12 meters.

There are also the likes of Naby Keita and Adam Lallana that I haven’t even mentioned yet and it makes you realize how great the depth of Liverpool in midfield is.

Timo Werner continues to be linked to a transfer. Jadon Sancho had a hat-trick this weekend. Who do you want Liverpool to go to, if at all, in the summer?

The problem for me with Liverpool at times when it comes to transfers is that you are looking for a very specific type of player – a player who has the quality to start games when needed but who accepts that he will not be the first choice every week.

There are of course much worse problems in football and life in general right now, but I think it can sometimes be a problem when it comes to recruiting players good enough to play for Liverpool.

I’m a big fan of Werner. I was not convinced when I saw him in Stuttgart when he was young, but he has been fantastic for RB Leipzig since he joined them and it seems clear that he would like the chance to come to Anfield even if it sometimes means a place on the bench.

He is much more than an attacker. He is tireless, he creates opportunities for his teammates and he is so cool in front of goal.

As for Jadon Sancho, there is probably no team in the world that would not take him. He is brilliant and would definitely make any team in the world better. It’s also a natural talent.

The problem with Sancho, however, is that it would likely only be available for massive transfer fees and high salaries. It would be perfect for Liverpool, but I just don’t see it.

I’d like Liverpool to get offensive reinforcement for next season, especially if the CAN takes place. Losing Mane and Salah in winter for a key part of the season would obviously be a blow.

It would be a huge request for people like Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones to step up for about a month, even if we have seen what they are capable of when they are honored with the first team.

Klopp’s decision not to spend big last summer has been fully justified given Liverpool’s performance, especially in the league so far this season, but I think recruiting for next season would be one great help since it could be even more crowded than usual.

The last weeks of the season could be an opportunity for some players to progress. What need to impress is the greatest?

There are very few players I have looked at in a Liverpool jersey that I wanted to see succeed more than Naby Keita.

I was really excited to see him for Leipzig a few years ago and when the deal to sign it was announced. It was so frustrating to see him pick up so many injuries, often when he also hit with decent form.

He has something Liverpool sometimes needs to break up the seated teams and take the pressure off and I think Klopp knows that.

This is one of the best features of Klopp’s management style. He won’t give up on players when he knows they have what it takes and he is rightly ready to be patient with Keita.

Takumi Minamino is another one who I think should impress even if it is true that he has not been very lucky so far.

He’s a player who has to be patient in Liverpool as opposed to Liverpool being patient with him, but hopefully he will have a few minutes after the title is won and we can see what he’s talking about.

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I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone the best in these strange and difficult times.

We have all patiently waited for three months for the sport, especially football, to return when it was safe to do so and it should return in just over two weeks. I can’t wait and I’m sure you can’t either.

Our health is the most important thing, but this thirty-year wait is almost over.

Stay safe everyone.


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