It was an achievement that at one point in the campaign seemed highly unlikely, but now fans can’t help but wonder what’s to come.
Some players will continue to be busy with the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament, but Jurgen Klopp and his team will soon find out how to compete again for a Premier League title and more silverware.
ECHO Liverpool correspondent Paul Gorst hosted a Q&A for fans, answering all your burning questions with very unsurprising transfer activity. Mostly
Read the full transcript below:
Nquinn20; Once the deal is done with Konaté, who do you think Liverpool will target?
Paul Gorst: Blimey! Konate not finished yet and you are already looking for some fresh meat! They will seek to advance, I’m sure. Wijnaldum is interesting and if they feel that a replacement is necessary. For me this is absolutely true, but Klopp sometimes moves on his own drum.
SimenHM: Hi Paul! What can we expect from LFC this summer in terms of contracts? VvD, Fabinho, Salah among others are only 2 years old.
PG: I believe discussions with are starting on new offers for Fabinho and Alisson. Salah has been fishing for a while too I think and Liverpool would be foolish not to assess that situation too. Van Dijk is surely a no-brainer, isn’t it?
ChrisLFC4; Hi do you think we’ll keep phillips or sell
PG: If it’s up to Klopp, I think he’ll keep Phillips. He was delighted with what “Bolton Baresi” has done this season. But the player himself might feel like he can play regularly elsewhere after 20 LFC appearances this season. He has proven that he can, so hopefully he has some suitors if he wants to get more consistent football next season,
Idhant Singh: Are we going to exercise the permanent option for Kabak?
PG: No, Kabak will return to Schalke now. I asked Klopp about it on Friday and he said no decision had been made but he was talking in the past tense of Kabak, which I found to be revealing. He will return to Schalke but I am sure he will leave this summer.
Nquinn20; Do you think Liverpool will try to bring the price of kabak down and sign it for good?
PG: I don’t know now, no. Kabak will return to Schalke. Sure he’ll be leaving for someone new, though. Been linked with Leipzig losing Upamecano and, if Liverpool succeeds, Konate.
ChrisLFC4; Can we expect Harvey Elliott to be a team player next season?
PG: We can. Liverpool will be evaluating Elliott this preseason but they have been delighted with his progress at Blackburn and just like his first season at the club they will see him play a part in the Cups. I wouldn’t rule out a PL loan entirely, but I imagine they want to withhold it.
Heman713: If we bring in a replacement for Gini, does that hamper Curtis’ progress? I think Klopp considers Jones to play a leading role next season and that he can explode like Foden did this season?
PG: I guess due to the fact that there is another midfielder in the mix that will be, yes. But I don’t think that’s too big a problem. Jones is still only 20, so he doesn’t need to play at a club the size of Liverpool every week. Lots of time by his side to develop and improve. All in all, he’s had a good season.
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ChrisLFC4; Is there a problem that the team seems to be aging?
PG: Concern for whom? I don’t know if this thought process prevails inside the club, but the move of Konate – who is 22 today – shows you that they are watching players with many years ahead of them. I expect this to be a key component to all revenue this summer. I think there are still 12 months before the club are seriously concerned about the ages of their key stars.
SimenHM: I guess a better wording -om me – would be: Are VvD and Salah interested in renewing at LFC, and will Liverpool be ready to offer them improved terms as they approach 30?
PG: Salah, I’m almost certain, is looking for a new contract at Liverpool. His claims about his future “in the hands of the club” in December / January were revealing on the score. I have no reason to doubt that Van Dijk is anything but happy at the club too. Liverpool will be relaxed on both scores when it comes to the new contracts.
Idhant Singh: Will Gomez be a starter for us next season as numerous reports suggest it will be * difficult * for him to get back to where he was, after his second serious knee injury?
PG: I have no idea how bad Gomez’s knee injury was, but it was a bad one. Klopp is hoping to be in good shape for the preseason, but with Matip Fit and Konate likely on board, there will be some serious competition next season. It will be three players who will mainly fight for a place, because we know how important Van Dijk is. All four will play.
TJDF: Hey Paul, any luck Keita or Ox is used as bait for Tielemans or Ndidi?
PG: Not that I know of at this point. I love both of these Leicester midfielders, but these are not names I have heard of in Liverpool. Tielemans is quality, isn’t it?
James01: Hi Paul, is the club interested in Bissouma or Aouar? Could you see the owners pushing the boat, if it was available for Mbappe? Considering the huge business value it has – similar to LeBron James. You must be dreaming, right? Perhaps this is a conversation the owners are having with Jurgen right now. “Can you have 7,000 other fans in the end of Annie Road or Mbappe?” “
PG: I don’t see a scenario where Liverpool sign Kylian Mbappe. I know, sorry… I’d be surprised if they didn’t at least passively take an interest in Bissouma. Reports on Monday suggest he told Brighton he wants to leave and has been excellent for them. Aouar is another with great potential but not someone I have seen seriously linked for quite some time.
The 7,000 seats for the Anfield Road extension cost only around £ 50-60 million. You would need to double that for PSG to answer the phone through Mbappe, unfortunately.
wolfmansgotnards: Can you see Van Den Berg returning to PNE next season, PNE fans have told me they love him but he played at the back.
PG: He played in the back, yes. After watching him for Liverpool, he seems more suited to a central position. His deal was part of Ben Davies’ and if Preston wanted it again I see no reason Liverpool would stand in their way. It seems like a healthy loan for all parties.
TJDF: Yeah, they’re both Paul class. an update on the renewed interest in Renato sanches? Is there a real interest in Goncalves?
PG: No interest in Renato Sanches as far as I know. No idea if the Goncalves link is genuine. It comes from Record in Portugal, but Liverpool’s name is sometimes easy to include when it comes to speculative interest.
KR2020: In terms of spending, who do you think will be shown the door to raise the funds to reinvest in areas that need to be strengthened, for example a midfielder to replace Wijnaldum and a striker to add depth?
PG: If you put a gun to my head, I think Grujic, Wilson and Awoniyi will leave if Liverpool are given suitable offers. Shaqiri and Origi will also be in the showcase.
Heman713: What about the goalie situation? News?
PG: Adrian’s contract is in place this summer, but as we’ve seen this season, Caoimhin Kelleher could reasonably be above him now in the pecking order. So I don’t expect another save to come up.
Andre1912: What about the Matip situation? And without Wjnaldum we have Milly, Hendo and Thiago over 30 in the middle and injury prone Naby .. maybe we need two midfielders. – Could Neves or Ward-Prowse come in?
PG: Matip will stay put. I totally agree that Wijnaldum needs to be replaced. He played 51 times last season, it would be amazing if that were simply avoided, especially when Keita and Oxlade have had their injury issues and Milner is in the twilight of his career.
wrm7018a: Do you think we’ll go for a true # 9 or a versatile striker like jota / mane / salah?
PG: I think Liverpool will look to target a more traditional center-forward this summer as opposed to a versatile center-forward who can play in all areas of the front. It has been a long time since Roberto Firmino had serious competition for a place as No.9 and we have seen it occasionally in his performances.