There is no doubt that Liverpool made huge progress under Jurgen Klopp last season. They comfortably qualified for the Champions League and were beaten in the final of the competition by Real Madrid.
The Reds played some great football and were outstanding going forward. The brilliant Mo Salah broke the record for most goals in a 38-game Premier League season, while the likes of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane also impressed throughout the campaign.
The future looks bright as well, with the signings of Fabinho and Naby Keita, along with emerging youngsters such as Trent Alexander-Arnold. There is real hope on Merseyside that this squad could do something special.
However, there is one issue that has haunted Liverpool for a number of years. Pepe Reina played his last Liverpool game in 2013, and ever since then, no one has held down the position of goalkeeper at Anfield.
Simon Mignolet initially took the ‘keeper’s jersey, but never looked entirely convincing. Brad Jones and Adam Bogdan also had short stints in goal, but both looked out of their depths and didn’t manage more than a few appearances each.
Loris Karis moved to Liverpool at the beginning of the 2016/17 season, and despite some indifferent form, finally established himself as Klopp’s number one at the turn of the year. His long-term position has been thrown into uncertainty though, after two horrible errors in the Champions League final against Real Madrid.
It seems likely that Klopp will enter the transfer market this summer to look for a new number one, and here are five names who he could potentially take a look at:
1) Alisson (Roma)
Alisson is probably the most in-demand goalkeeper in world football at the moment. Aside from Liverpool, there has been significant interest from Chelsea and Real Madrid. The 25-year-old had an excellent season at Roma and played a crucial role as they reached the Champions League semi-final. It also saw him become Brazil’s number one, ahead of Manchester City’s Ederson.
The one issue with this one could be the fee. Roma are said to have put a £70 million price tag on Alisson, and having already spent big on Keita and Fabinho, they might not be prepared to spend so much on a ‘keeper. He is probably the best stopper on the market this summer though and would be a fantastic addition at Anfield.
2) Jasper Cillessen (Barcelona)
Cillessen only moved to Barcelona two years ago from Ajax, but in that time, he has appeared just two times in La Liga, with his only appearances really coming in the Copa del Rey. He is 29-years-old now, and is approaching the peak of his career, so will want to be playing regular football. Behind Marc-Andre ter Stegen, that doesn’t seem likely if he stays in Spain.
As he isn’t a first choice player at the Camp Nou, Barcelona will likely be open to the idea of the Dutchman leaving the club. Cillessen is a good goalkeeper, not a great goalkeeper, so is less likely to win you points singlehandedly in the way someone like David de Gea does. This may not be as important to Liverpool though, who often go into the match with a tactic of knowing they are always capable of scoring more than the opposition, and will be looking for someone to cut out the howlers. Cillessen will do that.
3) Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)
Oblak is one of the best ‘keepers in the world, and make no mistake about it, it would be a real coup for Liverpool if they are able to bring the Slovenian shot-stopper to Anfield. The 25-year-old has made 116 league appearances in La Liga since moving to Spain from Benfica four years ago and has kept an incredible 68 clean sheets in that time.
Liverpool would almost become favourites for the Premier League title if they could bring Oblak to the club. They would have to make him the most expensive goalkeeper in football history to sign him, as he currently has a release clause of £87 million, and it is unlikely Atletico will let him go for any less.