Liverpool have reached two finals – the Capital One Cup and Europa League – since Jurgen Klopp took over from Brendan Rodgers earlier in October and in both matches the Reds failed to clinch the trophy. The fact proves that there have been major development under the former Borussia Dortmund boss but at the same time points that the job is still far to be completed.
The transitional and promising period with the German prestigious manager has probably been useful for the boss to know which players inherited from Rodger's time are worth a place in his future pans and who needs to find another club somewhere else because can't really adapt to his pressing style.
Business so far
Klopp has needed little time to identify the areas which badly need a surgery and has been quick in the transfer window to begin the overhaul with a centre-back in Joel Matip and a competitor for Simon Mignolet in Mainz keeper Lois Karius.
The boss knows well both from his time at the Bundesliga and considered how inflated the market will be in the coming transfer window – due to the new TV right deals – both can be considered good bargains. The defender, nevertheless, has joined on a free transfer after expiring his contract at Schalke while Liverpool have reportedly pay only £4.7m to secure Karius despite the fact he is considered one of the most promising keepers to emerge from the German academy, which in recent years have produced the likes of Manuel Neuer and Marc Andre Ter Stegen.
Furthermore, with Klopp already in charge, Liverpool completed the £5.1m capture of Serbian starlet Marko Grujic from Red Star Belgrade, who recently returned to Merseyside after the club let him leave on loan at his parent club for the second part of the season.
Meanwhile, the club have released Jose Enrique and Jordan Rossiter and Jose Enrique, with the youngster having joined Rangers. Jerome Sinclair has joined Watford while academy attacking midfielder Daniel Trickett-Smith has made a move to Sacramento Republic FC in the US.
What they need
Liverpool were close to winning the Premier League two seasons ago thanks to 31 goals in 33 matches scored by Luis Suarez. The two successive attempts to fill his huge gap, with Mario Balotelli and Christian Benteke, have proved unsuccessful and this time will be key to give Klopp's side any chance of competing for a league title that the club have failed to win since 1989-1990.
Daniel Sturridge has potential but his recurrent injury problems force the manager to sign someone else. Nevertheless, Divock Origi and even Danny Ings have showed glimpses of their promising talent this season but it looks unlikely they can compete with the 31 goals netted by the current Barcelona star only two seasons ago.
Reports indicate that a summer reunion between Klopp and Mario Gotze in a £20m deal is in the former Borussia Dortmund manager plans. Yet, having already Philipe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana for that role, signing a proven number nine must be a bigger priority. Yet should Klopp be likely to reunite with someone at Anfield the names of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Robert Lewandowski make more sense – although the money in this case will probably a major impediment to lure them to the Merseyside.
Albeto Moreno has come under heavy criticism following his shaky performance in the Europa League final and the signing of a new left-back looks also a must.
Mamadou Sakho ban and Toure's contract situation could also force Klopp to bolster further the hearth of the back-line following the addition of Matip. Yet, Joe Gomez can also be a solution to consider after the 19-year-old missed much of the current campaign following an impressive start to the life at Anfield. The former Charlton starlet can also play on the flanks but considering Klopp likes his full-back to attacks his future under the German boss looks more likely to use him as a centre-back.
Meanwhile, a midfielder to help Emre Can, James Milner, Lucas Leiva and Jordan Henderson would also be welcomed.
Who could join
Liverpool have been heavily linked with a £20m move Mario Gotze despite indication that the German is likely to give himself another chance at Bayern Munich following the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti. The Telegraph recently claimed that Liverpool are also monitoring closely Sadio Mane as an alternative.
The Reds are also said to be in the race to sign coveted West Ham starlet Reece Oxford while earlier this month reports in Portugual also linked them with a big money move for FC Porto forward Yacine Brahimi.
Meanwhile Spanish publication Sport said that the Merseysiders launched a cut-price offer to lure former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen back to the Premier League. In Spain there were also many reports about a move for Barcelona keeper Ter Stegen but have all but ended following the addition of Karius.
Who could leave
Kolo Toure has replicated his best form under Klopp but his future at the club remains uncertain as he is out of contract at the end of the current season. Martin Skrtel, who has struggled with lack of fitness and form in recent months, could also be shown the exit door should Klopp make further additions to the back-line while out-of-favour Tiago Ilori has been linked with a new loan move to Deportivo de la Coruna.
Christian Benteke, meanwhile, could be sold only one year after his £32m arrival from Aston Villa to fund other moves. In the middle of the park it looks there will be less changes but still Joe Allen has claimed that his future will depend on the chances he is given in pre-season.
At the same time the future of the players who have been on loan last season like Mario Balotelli, Luis Alberto or Lazar Markovic is up in the air. Furthermore, the Liverpool Echo recently reported that Spanish starlet Sergi Canos could also be sold after the winger and the club came to a stalemate with regards to agreeing a new deal.
What the manager said
Just after the Europa League defeat against Sevilla, Klopp admitted that his plans to improve the squad ahead coming back stronger next season.
"We will use it and we will come back stronger, that's for sure. You saw on the way to the final we had a few moments where we maybe over-performed – we were unbelievable, great and the boys showed what they are capable of, but then to have this consistency you need a little bit more time.
"They are still young and this was their first big final – unfortunately their second [losing] final of the season, but it was a big final and we will use this experience together. Then someday everybody will say Basel was a very decisive moment for the wonderful future of Liverpool.
"Of course, this team will be a little bit different next year, that's clear. We will do something with transfers, that's clear. But, first of all, we need to use the experience because I am sure we will be in a final again and we will have decisive moments again. And if we have decisive moments then we have to react better, all of us."