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Why Klopp Still Faces A Huge Challenge To Guid Liverpool Back Into The Champions League

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Klopp will face challenges to guide Liverpool back into the Champions League

Klopp

Liverpool stagnated under the tenure of Brendan Rodgers, leading to his departure from Anfield just two months into the last campaign. The Northern Irishman came within striking distance of ending the Reds’ top-flight title drought, only for his side to collapse late in the 2013/14 season.

Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling left the club in back-to-back years, and although Liverpool received huge sums of money for both players they failed to replace their impact on the pitch.

The Reds limped into sixth place and ended the season in the worst possible manner in a 6-1 hammering at the hands of Stoke, increasing the pressure on Rodgers. The 42-year-old lasted until the Merseyside derby as his side failed to beat their bitter rivals Everton, capping an underwhelming start to the term and ending his three-year tenure at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp was the man almost every Liverpool wanted to replace Rodgers in the dugout following his successful spell with Borussia Dortmund. The German had a strong impact in his first seven months at the club, guiding his team to the finals of the Capital One Cup and the Europa League, only to lose both matches, while they also finished eighth in the Premier League.

However, expectations will rise in Klopp’s second season with a return to the Champions League the minimum requirement of Liverpool, who are backed in the early Premier League odds at the time of writing at 11/8 to secure a spot in the top four.

Klopp will have to work hard over the summer as Chelsea and Manchester United will also be pushing hard to reclaim their places in Europe’s elite competition, while Leicester City and Tottenham will not want to relinquish their spots after breaking into the top four.

The teams could be vying for the same players in the transfer market once Euro 2016 has reached its conclusion, which could leave Liverpool in a battle to convince top talent to join their push rather than find homes at their rivals.

Mario Gotze has been linked with a move to the Reds, although reports suggest that the Germany international is not keen on the switch to Anfield. He would be a perfect player for Liverpool to ease the pressure on Philippe Coutinho in the final third, and failing to land his signature would be a blow.

The struggles of Christian Benteke played a huge role in the club’s underwhelming campaign in the Premier League as he notched nine goals in the top flight following his £32.5m move from Aston Villa. The Belgian failed to fit into the system under Rodgers and Klopp, which has led to speculation that he will leave at some point during the summer.

Elsewhere, Divock Origi displayed promise towards the end of the campaign, but Daniel Sturridge’s injury problems prevented him from having a major impact, making a new frontman a must for Klopp before the start of the season.

Alexandre Lacazette and Gonzalo Higuain have been linked, and would provide the Reds with a potent threat in the final third, with the ability to notch over 20 goals over the course of the term.

It will not be easy to convince the players to make the switch, while other sides in the Premier League will also be hopeful of luring players of the duo’s calibre to their respective clubs.

Although he has made good strides already in the transfer market with the signings of Loris Karius and Joel Matip, Klopp still faces a huge challenge to turn the Reds back into a top-four outfit.