Opinion: Plenty of ins and outs, but how much has Jürgen Klopp changed this Liverpool squad?

Opinion: Plenty of ins and outs, but how much has Jürgen Klopp changed this Liverpool squad?

How much has the Liverpool squad changed in the squad from Brendan Rodgers' time as Reds boss compared to what Jürgen Klopp has available to his disposal now?

Ninad Barbadikar

The summer of 2016 has been an eventful one for Liverpool, with many prominent first-team players departing and a fresh breed of players joining the club as Jürgen Klopp's very own signings.

In his first full season at Anfield, the German has had an entire summer to chop and change the team as he wants it to be, but how much has the squad changed? What can we look forward to from Liverpool's new players this season?

Increased solidity at the back

While Liverpool's attackers shined under the management of Klopp last year, the defence always looked shaky and the club has gone some way to addressing that issue with their summer signings.

Young German goalkeeper Loris Karius, who was very highly spoken of in the Bundesliga for his displays while playing for FSV Mainz 05, strengthens the options in goal. The heart of the defence has been well strengthened with the signings of Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan  from Schalke 04 and FC Augsburg. Klopp used his knowledge of the German market well and has bought from clubs where he knows the players will deliver for Liverpool, if not immediately, but certainly, gradually.

Klavan and Matip will look to add quality to the Reds' defence after the departures of Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure. (Source: Daily Mirror)

Liverpool had to say goodbye to long-time servant Martin Skrtel as he left for Fenerbahce and also to Premier League veteran Kolo Toure, who was released and moved to Celtic to join up with former Reds manager Brendan Rodgers. This leaves a bit of a void in the dressing room, with two leaders with an abundance of experience now elsewhere. It is up to those who remain in order to  make sure they are not sorely missed.

But Klopp made a clever move to sign veteran goalkeeper Alex Manninger, who will take on the role of teacher for Simon Mignolet and Karius, who will battle between themselves for the No.1 spot. 

In a bid to trim down the squad, Klopp also had to let go of Brad Smith permanently and Jon Flanagan on a season-long loan as each completed moves to top-flight clubs in Bournemouth and Burnley respectively.

Another Anfield graduate, Andre Wisdom, looked outside of England for his loan move and completed a move to Red Salzburg Salzburg on loan.

The loan move of Flanagan might come as a surprise as Alberto Moreno hasn't always looked the most assured presence at left-back and one can only hope that Klopp can improve the Spaniard's defensive contributions as well, with only James Milner for current competition on the left side of defence.

All-round midfield buys 

Klopp likes midfielders with energy, who can do everything with the ball and can excel at his high-press game. Following that idea, the German bought to Anfield two very talented midifielders in the form of Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle United and a young talent from Red Star Belgrade, Marko Grujic.

The two midfielders fit the profile of players that Klopp likes in his team, and Dutchman Wijnaldum looks like he will play a significant role in the team's progress this season, while Grujic will look to learn from his fellow teammates.

Grujic impressed everyone with his displays in pre-season.. (Source:Liverpoolecho)

Some were surprised to see Joe Allen leave the club after a brilliant showing at the Euros and while Klopp admitted that the midfielder was a wonderful footballer, he had to let the Welshman go given his desires for more regular minutes.

Another prominent sale was that of Jordon Ibe to Bournemouth. It was assumed that the winger, once so highly-rated, would be one to profit under Klopp, but as it happens, he struggled for form. As a result, his £15 million move away this summer certainly helped the Reds in a financial sense. It remains to be seen if Klopp will buy him back, as a clause was inserted into the youngster's contract.

Other departures include that of Jerome Sinclair, another highly-rated academy product, to Watford and the loan move of Lazar Markovic, this time to Portuguese club Sporting CP as he aims to gain game time and impress Klopp with his displays for his new club. Sergi Canos, another one of Anfield's bright prospects also left the club permanently in a move for regular game time to Norwich City.

Fans might be concerned with the lack of a proper back-up to Emre Can, who plays such a vital role in front of the back-four, dictating play and helping in build up from the back. Long-serving Brazilian Lucas Leiva was widely expected to leave but has stayed, which will certainly be good news for Klopp and the fans as well.

Quality in-depth up front

There is no question that Liverpool are well-equipped to face any injuries up front with Klopp having so many different options to play up front even after the departures of Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli, both of whom just did not fit into Klopp's system of play and got the moves they both wanted, with the Reds making good profit in sales.

Klopp can explore different set-ups as he has plenty of options to play up front. Roberto Firmino in a false nine role has been his favourite go-to so far, while young Belgian Divock Origi has been getting better and better for the Reds. Daniel Sturridge is still looking to prove himself worthy of the first-choice role as forntman after repeatedly getting injured in recent seasons and Danny Ings, who was in good form in pre-season, will also be good back-up for the aforementioned players as he aims to make a proper comeback from his long-term injury lay-off.

Sadio Mane has been very impressive since his debut for Liverpool and looks to be a good buy (Source:ESPN)
Sadio Mane has been very impressive since his debut for Liverpool and looks to be a good buy. (Source: ESPN)

The signing of Sadio Mane from Southampton has probably been the club's best buy. The pacy forward had long proven a menace for Premier League defenders to handle and now Klopp can look ahead to the Senegalese terrorising opposition defences for Liverpool as he has slotted in seamlessly into Klopp's starting eleven.

Liverpool already have a very strong attacking unit, with the star player being Phillipe Coutinho and the workmen being Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana and also Nathaniel Clyne, springing ahead from full-back position whenever he can. The additions of Wijnaldum and Mane have helped make Liverpool a force to be reckoned with and the offensive approach that Klopp has brought to the club will make sure that the best is brought out of these players.

Such a depth in the squad even after the sale of plenty of players shows that Liverpool are ready to give it a proper go at the top-four  and Klopp will be hoping that the changes he has made to the team will be the right ones to take this club back to where it belongs.