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Jurgen Klopp has already told FSG what he needs to rescue Liverpool’s season

A lack of investment in the Liverpool squad is only a small part of the problem for Jurgen Klopp and FSG.


As Liverpool’s on-field struggles go from bad to worse, leaving their hopes of Champions League qualification next season dangling by a thread, it has become increasingly clear that they are a side stuck in transition.


Little over six months ago, they were on the verge of an unprecedented quadruple. After missing out on the Premier League title to Manchester City by a solitary point on the final day of the season, before suffering a narrow loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League final, their fortunes have somewhat plummeted.


While Jurgen Klopp’s squad might be filled with Premier League and Champions League winners, it is also littered with ageing and injury prone players. And while they might boast a number of highly rated youngsters, such starlets are raw and not yet able to fully bridge the gap to the declining mentality monsters that went before them.


The Reds’ season hit a new low on Saturday as they fell to a dismal 3-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion. With their six Premier League defeats already three times as many as they suffered last season, they have fallen to ‘new lows’ far too often during their 2022/23 campaign and we’re not even yet at its halfway point.


As Liverpool crumbled on the South Coast, the majority of Premier League results elsewhere went against them. They have now dropped to ninth in the table as a result, 10 points off the top four, while defeat to Chelsea in their next Premier League outing will see them fall even further.


Injuries admittedly haven’t helped the Reds’ cause, but it’s clear that Klopp’s squad is in need of an overhaul. A midfield revamp in particular is on the cards for 2023 but not yet underway, with many believing the failure to initiate such a process sooner is a key contributor to Liverpool’s current woes. They have been pretty woeful in the engine room this year, after all.


Perhaps it is not through the want of trying. The Reds did move for Aurelien Tchouameni, only to be informed he only had eyes for Real Madrid. With long-standing target Jude Bellingham not yet available on the market, they opted to wait for the right player rather than fill the void with any player right now.


But Liverpool’s struggles scream they cannot afford to wait any longer. If they don’t strengthen their squad further this month, they look unlikely to qualify for the Champions League and in turn risk missing out on their would-be targets regardless.


Klopp needs help to rescue the Reds’ season and while it might seem simplistic, the transfer-hungry hordes’ view that multiple new signings will fix everything certainly wouldn’t make the situation any worse.


Alas, the cavalry doesn’t appear to be coming to Liverpool’s rescue anytime soon, with the German admitting last week he doesn’t expect to sign any more players in January.


“I don’t think so. It’s just the situation,” Klopp told reporters when asked if Liverpool will sign anyone else this month. “It’s like it is. My job is to use the boys we have. That’s it. I have absolutely no problem. I like the teams we line up.


“But then when we start changing, you realise upfront we don’t have three, four or five options. If we have options, they are pretty young immediately. It’s fine but it’s the situation.


“You cannot solve all problems in the transfer window. I know in a dream land you would just buy players now and bring them in but I don’t see that coming.”


Klopp would also lash out at one reporter when he was asked what the reason was for the Reds not being able to strengthen further, making it abundantly clear that the funds just aren’t there.


But having admitted in the summer that he would like FSG to take more risks in the transfer market on occasions, again the question many will ask is: ‘Why?’ After all, we’re led to believe the cash would have been there to sign Tchouameni, and will be again next summer for Bellingham. While the right quality of player might not be available now, and certainly not for the right price, it seems, the club’s owners’ stringent hold of the purse-strings seemingly continues.


FSG’s limited and controlled investment in the Liverpool squad over the years has been the subject of even further scrutiny in recent weeks, not aided by Chelsea’s £89m signing of Mykhailo Mudryk, which has taken their spending to nearly half a billion pounds (£468m) since owner Todd Bohely took over at Stamford Bridge six months ago. For the record, their scattergun transfer approach sees them level on points with the struggling Reds, but sitting below them in 10th due to an inferior goal difference. Evidently, money doesn’t fix everything if spent wildly and rashly.


Yet surely there must be a happy middle ground? This Liverpool squad is bleeding out for reinforcements and Klopp needs some further level of financial support from FSG in January, having already brought in Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven for an initial £37m, to prevent their Champions League hopes from flat-lining.


But behind such on-field woes, the Reds are not just in transition on the pitch. Rather, the club is in such a state from top to bottom, with a cloud of uncertainty hovering over Anfield.


Partly a result of their realisation that they cannot compete financially with the Man Citys, Newcastle Uniteds, and Paris Saint-Germains of this world, FSG are actively searching for new investors at Liverpool. Meanwhile, they are believed to be open to a full takeover at Anfield. While either scenario should deliver fresh investment in Klopp’s squad, they are very much currently caught taking the biggest of steps back in hope of a future two steps forward.


FSG remains fully committed to the success of Liverpool, both on and off the pitch,” the club’s owners insisted when confirming their search for new investment back in an official statement back in November. Yet as the Reds, at best, tread water, the evidence suggests otherwise with the group having not spoken publicly since from their base in Boston, with Klopp instead the lone frontman facing the flak.


And that is another issue that currently engorges Liverpool. In recent months, a number of key men behind the scenes have stepped away, or announced their intention to do so, leaving Klopp as this isolated presence at the top of the tree.


Sporting director Michael Edwards left the club last summer. Having groomed assistant Julian Ward to be his successor, it was confirmed in November, just weeks after FSG’s search for investment was made public, that he too would be leaving Anfield, departing at the end of the season after just one year in the role. Elsewhere, director of research, Ian Graham is also set to depart in the summer, having resigned from his role after over a decade at the club.


And November also saw it confirmed that Mike Gordon, the main link between the powers that be at FSG and Klopp, would be stepping back from his day-to-day Anfield responsibilities and transferring some of his job responsibilities to CEO Billy Hogan.


While Liverpool’s squad might be in need of a radical shake-up, one is happening behind the scenes, too, whether they like it or not. No wonder the Reds have never looked so unstable.


“As a leader you cannot be the last who comes in and the first who goes out; you don’t always have to be the first coming in or the last going out, but you have to be an example,” Klopp said in a Western Union video feature in 2019 when speaking about his trust in the backroom team around at Anfield.


“We have enough confidence and that’s very important for a leader. If I would expect from myself that I know everything and I’m the best in everything, I couldn’t have confidence. But I don’t expect that. I know I’m good in a couple of things, really good in a few things, and that’s enough. My confidence is big enough that I can really let people grow next to me, it’s no problem.


I need experts around me. It’s really very important that you are empathetic, that you try to understand the people around you, and that you give real support to the people around you. Then everybody can act.


“That’s what leadership is: have strong people around you with a better knowledge in different departments than yourself, don’t act like you know everything, be ready to admit, ‘I have no clue in the moment, give me a couple of minutes and then I will have a clue probably’. That’s how I understand it but it’s no real ‘philosophy’, it’s just my way of life.”


Liverpool are seemingly losing and lacking experts, waiting for the next men to step up in their place and falling behind their rivals in the interim. And with social media conspiracy theorists desperate to explain the Reds’ woes, it has been accused that Klopp has inadvertently become more hands on off the pitch, akin to the beginning of Rafa Benitez’s Anfield demise back in 2009, with assistant manager Pep Lijnders then in turn more hands on on it.


Only those behind the scenes will be able to confirm how close or wide of the mark such accusations are, but it’s obvious that something is not right at Anfield and this is no longer Klopp’s ‘way of life’. He needs all the help he can get to rescue Liverpool’s season, and his squad and the transfer market are just a small part of that.


Regardless of FSG’s long-term intentions, they need to prove the commitment they promised two months ago. Whether the club’s custodians eventually end up handing over the keys or simply opening the door, they are responsible for the Reds’ plight and what happens next. They can’t hide away, leaving Liverpool Football Club to look after itself as they wait for a solution.


When everyone at Anfield was pulling in the same direction, the Reds were champions of England, Europe, and the world. FSG had their critics but at least their ways delivered results.


But when the results dry up, they lose that protection. Previously one of the best-run clubs in the Premier League, if FSG don’t address the club’s issues directly, such days will become nothing more than distant memories.


Klopp might have worked wonders at Liverpool ever since he first walked through the door in October 2015, turning doubters into believers, but he can’t do it alone. His presence alone won’t be enough to rescue the Reds’ season this time.


With Liverpool now devoid of any self-belief, the club needs new leaders to support Klopp, as much as it needs new legs in midfield and fresh investment in the squad. Your move, FSG.

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