Egyptian King arrives as Klopp polishes his pending champions – Liverpool FC 2017/18 – Liverpool FC
The 2017/18 season was one that saw Jurgen Klopp’s side continue to flourish as the foundations for success both nationally and in Europe were laid.
The summer of 2017 saw the boss start preparing for his second full season at the helm, which was marred by more than one transfer saga.
The hunt for Virgil van Dijk was constantly on a loop, with new stories emerging each day before an apology as Neymar’s record-breaking sale to Paris Saint-Germain saw dominoes drop and Philippe Coutinho got his head turned by Barcelona.
And while the pair would eventually see their wishes come true, the transfer window was one that saw Liverpool secure two players who would help catapult the team to the highest of heights.
It was an exhilarating campaign which saw Klopp’s men spending the majority of the time in and around the Premier League’s top four, with only one loss coming on the road to Kiev.
Domestically, 16 different Reds have carved their names on the scoresheet in a top-notch campaign that scored 84 impressive goals – the second-highest total in the division.
Stand up for the new king
“I really want to win something for this club,” said Mohamed Salah upon arriving at Anfield in June 2017, three years before winning four top honors.
The summer has been filled with possibilities on who could be added to the attacking pullback, with Julian Brandt easily tied.
But it would be Salah who would arrive with a bang before everything he touched turned to gold, a signature statement that made tongues tremble and left defenders a shaking mess.
A goal on his debut against Watford was just the start for the quick winger as he would score a total of 32 league goals in 36 appearances, the most goals of any Premier League player in history during a 38-game campaign.
Coupled with his astonishing exploits in Europe, the Egyptian would end his first campaign with 44 goals and 16 assists in 52 appearances.
Any suggestion that he would not be a success was flatly quashed.
Records and accolades have rightly come to him for a season that has unfolded with style, confidence, quality and breathtaking moments – a season that will forever be etched in club folklore.
And all for a windfall of £ 36.9million, which made us pay a ‘Salah tax’ when we moved to Rome again, this time for Alisson.
Blackpool, unauthorized meetings, a transfer request and finally an apology.
And this is the short distance in the pursuit of Virgil van Dijk. A story that has rumored throughout the summer with Liverpool desperately seeking a player who would transform their defense and fortune.
Inflated prices and a sour relationship with Southampton would only delay the inevitable, as the Dutchman is reportedly pictured with a Liverpool kit as a late Christmas present upon his arrival in January.
Costs of £ 75million were agreed, a good deal in hindsight and testimony to Klopp and co’s conviction. that he was the man for the job, however long they had to wait.
First impressions Van Dijk wasn’t bad with a winner in a Merseyside Derby, but that would only be the start as the compelling defender would transform the Reds on day one: from hopeful contenders to fierce challengers .
But the club had found themselves on both sides of a transfer saga, as as they chased Van Dijk over the summer, Barcelona were busy turning Coutinho’s head after Neymar made a 198million transfer. pounds sterling to PSG.
There was resistance from fans after another star man wanted to move on and while the club held their own in the summer, when Van Dijk landed, the Brazilian was packing his bags.
A ‘back injury’ and press leaks marred his outing and as Klopp hinted at the time, the grass wouldn’t turn out greener on the other side – but the Reds have flourished as the funds were put to good use to set up the trophy – loaded for years to come.
Trent and Robbo make their mark
While Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Van Dijk dominated the headlines for all the right reasons, Andy Robertson was the one who left a lot of people disappointed.
The Scotsman had just been relegated with Hull and with the Reds desperately in need of a left-back with struggling Alberto Moreno, a £ 8million decision came as a surprise in the middle of the summer.
But those who questioned the transfer would soon be singing the praises of Michael Edwards, Klopp and co. while Robertson, after a period of settling in, would quickly make his mark and catapult himself into the upper echelon of left-backs in world football.
At the same time, Trent Alexander-Arnold was looking to make a breakthrough in the first team having only debuted the previous season.
And 2017/18 would prove to be the start of an incredible partnership between the duo, acting as key creative outlets in a captivating Liverpool outfit that eagerly entertained the masses.
They would only provide eight assists and contribute four goals between them, but that was just a small sign of things to come once they both settle into the XI.
Electric in front of the goal
It’s been a memorable season in more ways than one and Klopp’s team were quick to activate afterburners, mark worlds and leave more than one jaw on the ground in the process.
The Reds were just electric.
From Sadio Mane rolling one into goal or the scintillating counterattacks against Arsenal, Brighton, West Ham and Leicester – the Reds had it all.
Salah’s rocket at Stoke is a rocket that will be long remembered, as is his lob against Man City, while Coutinho failed to lose his touch from a distance – and who can forget Klavan’s last winner at Burnley !
On 17 occasions Liverpool have scored three or more goals, where a relentless desire to attack has allowed Liverpool to find a way to score in multiple ways, from dead ball, block, long range or in the box – they had everything.
And the formidable first three of Salah, Mane and Firmino would combine for an incredible 91 goals and 42 assists.
A balance would be struck between attack and defense the following season, which led Liverpool to the long-awaited silverware.
It’s only from here
Klopp’s second full season at the helm is one that will be remembered for paving the way to the top, with European disappointment lending itself to a triumphant return and clever transfer deals preparing the club for a prosperous future.
A top-four finish was another tick in the box, as was the race to the Champions League final – a race the Reds would harness the emotions of to do better next time around.
As they say, “setbacks make big comebacks” and that is exactly what Liverpool would continue to do.
A captivating 2017/18 campaign sent out a notice saying Liverpool were back in business, but with Salah, Robertson and Van Dijk now settled in and Fabinho, Alisson and Naby Keita to arrive in the summer of 2018 – it was only a little glimpse of what was to come.
The way to the top of the national and European stage had been mapped out, now it was time for the mentality freaks to seize their opportunity.