Mohamed Salah returns and new sporting director arrives – Liverpool next month in ideal scenario
Liverpool will be gearing up for a long run in every competition that it is in to send Jürgen Klopp off on a high. Mohamed Salah will be a crucial part of that.
The next few weeks will be important for Liverpool. Indeed, until Jürgen Klopp departs at the end of the campaign, every game is going to be an occasion of sorts: his last game against a certain side, his last chance to beat someone away from home (in the case of Brentford this weekend), or, most importantly, the chance to win silverware and go out on a high.
As ever, there are plenty of other things happening as well. Liverpool will soon take on Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley — a repeat of the 2022 fixture that saw Caoimhín Kelleher emerge as the hero in the penalty shootout — while off the pitch, Klopp’s departure means there is plenty of work to get done too.
For now, Liverpool fans can focus entirely on making the most of Klopp’s remaining time at Anfield, with the countdown very much on until he leaves and takes a break from the game, but for club officials and the FSG hierarchy, big decisions and plans can begin to come into place. Everyone will continue to have an eye on Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen.
Here are the three things that would happen to Liverpool across the course of the next few weeks in an ideal scenario. We begin with the injury situation, where Klopp would no doubt like to have Mohamed Salah back available again as soon as possible. Trent Alexander-Arnold is another whose latest setback is hopefully nothing to keep him out for long.
Mohamed Salah returns from injury (and other setbacks overcome)
The Egyptian forward was always going to be missed to some degree, even if Liverpool has largely been able to cope without his attacking talents during AFCON and his subsequent injury spell. Salah, in an ideal world, will be back in time to face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final.
Klopp will likely give an update on Salah’s progress on Friday ahead of facing Brentford in West London this weekend. It was previously stated by the Liverpool manager that it would be after this game that Salah can return, with Luton Town visiting the Reds between the Brentford and Chelsea fixtures.
Alexander-Arnold went off at half-time with an injury against Burnley while Dominik Szoboszlai is also missing at the moment. Getting those two alone back would make a big difference.
Liverpool wins the 2024 Carabao Cup and Man City drops points
It is often said that winning the first trophy of the season can set you up for more and that is what Liverpool will be hoping for at Wembley in just under a fortnight. With Chelsea the opponent, Klopp’s side will be looking to repeat the victory that it managed at Anfield in the Premier League at the end of last month.
The rest of the competitions that Liverpool is currently in all conclude inside the space of seven days. The final day of the Premier League season (when Wolves come to Anfield again) is on Sunday, May 19. The Europa League is Wednesday, May 22 and the FA Cup final is Saturday, May 25. It could be quite the week for Klopp to bow out.
While the league appears to be a three-way battle after Liverpool let Arsenal back into things at the Emirates Stadium, Manchester City has some harder fixtures on the horizon (Pep Guardiola’s side has a run coming that reads: Manchester United, Liverpool, Brighton, Arsenal, Aston Villa). By the end of February, Liverpool and Manchester City will be back level on matches played again, with the Reds hosting the holder at Anfield on March 10.
Sporting director appointment made and Xabi Alonso progress continues
Before Liverpool can appoint a new manager, it might make sense to first get in place a new sporting director after Jörg Schmadtke moved on at the end of January. Before the end of the campaign, news on who the new sporting director might be would be good.
The identity of the new sporting director could give a clue as to who will take over from Klopp but Alonso appears to be a frontrunner regardless. As Liverpool fans continue to keep an eye on Bayer Leverkusen’s matches, the former Reds midfielder is likely to keep impressing. Even if he doesn’t end up winning the Bundesliga and becoming the first head coach since Klopp to win the league title with a team other than Bayern Munich, the argument is already strong for him moving to Anfield.