Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will rely on the full support of FSG after the Reds were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will need the complete support of the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, to rebuild his ageing squad, which was exposed over two legs by Real Madrid in the first knockout round of the Champions League. The Reds were eliminated from the tournament on Wednesday evening after failing to overcome a three-goal lead at the Bernabeu, with Karim Benzema’s late winner sending Real Madrid into the quarter-finals following their 5-2 victory in the first leg at Anfield last month.
The outcome was yet another low point in a dreadful season for Liverpool, who are on course to conclude the season without a major prize after being overpowered by their Spanish opponents in Europe yet again. Another costly rebuild appears to be on the horizon at Anfield, as it becomes increasingly evident that Liverpool is no longer the feared beast it was only a few years ago, with several of their most crucial players no longer doing the business.
The departure of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich in the summer has coincided with Liverpool’s decline this season, while Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, and Virgil van Dijk have all looked beyond their prime in recent months as they near the conclusion of their careers. Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have also struggled to impress on a continuous basis this season, and that is before considering the vast quantity of deadwood in Liverpool’s squad.
Klopp is no stranger to the chore of rebuilding a failing squad, having moved to Merseyside in 2015, when the Reds were hurtling downhill after reaching their collective peak and in desperate need of new faces to assure their durability. The magnitude of the task at hand was as evident then as it is today, and Klopp has disclosed that FSG went out of their way to SMS him an apology for the awful state of the squad at his disposal.
“At first, I got a communication from the US saying, ‘Sorry for the squad we’ve given you,'” Klopp explained in 2021. “But everything was OK,” I said, “it just takes time.”
FSG then backed Klopp by funding a large-scale rebuilding operation over several years, resulting in a group ready to dominate the world. The Reds did just that when they were at their peak, winning the Premier League, Champions League, and Club World Cup, but they are now a far cry from the side they once were, implying that Klopp will once again rely on the patience of their American supporters as he aims to lead another comprehensive overhaul at Anfield.
Given the rampant inflation in football since the Reds last rebuilt their playing roster, it becomes evident that FSG may be required to spend a huge sum of money in order to get Liverpool blazing on all cylinders once again. Substantial money were paid to recruit players such as Van Dijk, Alisson Becker, and Fabinho, and it is only natural that more records will be set in the following years if Liverpool is serious about returning to the top.
They will also need to reduce their squad to create way for new additions, with players like Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain simply not good enough to play a sustained role for Liverpool when the Reds would benefit more from some fresh longer-term purchases in midfield. Offensive reinforcements will also be necessary following Firmino’s impending exit from the club at the end of the season after eight successful years on their books.
It remains to be seen how Liverpool will approach the next few transfer windows as Klopp looks to lead another rebuilding process with the assistance of FSG, who will need to give the 55-year-old their full support in order for the club to successfully return to domestic and European title contention. It appears that a changing of the guard is required in the Anfield dressing room, though only time will tell how the club’s decision-makers will approach the process in the not-too-distant future.