Liverpool FC‘s Premier League title hopes hang by a thread as Jurgen Klopp‘s time nears its end. Despite taking the lead on the table, recent stumbles have exposed glaring weaknesses in the squad. After their recent loss against Crystal Palace the Premier League title is out of their hands now, as they need Manchester City and Arsenal to slip up. As the summer transfer window approaches, Liverpool must address three critical areas to regain their competitive edge.

1. A new captain needed for Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk looking down/sad in front of the Liverpool logo

Liverpool's on-field struggles are compounded by a lack of leadership, particularly in defense. Virgil van Dijk, once an indomitable force, now struggles to command the backline effectively. The team's whole cohesion suffers as a result, with confusion reigning both in attack and defense.

The need for a change in captaincy looms large. While Van Dijk's legacy at Anfield is unquestionable, his diminishing form demands action. Fans ask for a decisive move, as the Dutchman's leadership fails to inspire the team. Shifting the captain's role to a more central midfield position could inject fresh direction into Liverpool's play, facilitating better control and incisive passing. Furthermore, with the armband being more high on the pitch, it would allow the Reds to put actual threat in their attacks.

Liverpool's trademark slow-burning pressure originates from their defense, but recent deficiencies have rendered this strategy ineffective. A new captain, capable of orchestrating play from deeper positions, is essential to revitalizing the team's tactical approach.

On top of that, the potential departure of Klopp adds urgency to the need for leadership restructuring. With a new manager likely to take the wheel, establishing a strong leadership core is vital for maintaining stability during the transition period.

2. Lackluster finishing, Mohamed Salah struggles

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah (11) plays the ball against Manchester City during the second half of an International Champions Cup soccer match at MetLife Stadium
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Liverpool's attacking skills, once a hallmark of their success, has faltered in recent outings. Mohamed Salah, in particular, has seen a decline in form, with his presence at Anfield becoming increasingly non-existing. The Egyptian king is only a ghost of himself in the last couple weeks and his inability to convert chances has left the team without goals and momentum.

To reignite their offensive threat, Liverpool must address Salah's slump and overhaul their finishing strategy. A return to the clinical efficiency witnessed earlier in the season is crucial for their success. Whether through tactical adjustments or individual player development, a renewed focus on goal-scoring is essential.

The reliance on Salah and Luis Diaz to provide the bulk of Liverpool's goals underscores the need for greater diversity in attacking options. With Salah's form in question, reinforcements may be necessary to bolster the frontline and take off some pressure from key players. Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota needs to step up and take responsibility for scoring. Long-range shots needs to be ready to fly from midfield talents, like Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister.

3. Strengthening the backline

Liverpool uncertainties

Liverpool's defensive solidity, once the cornerstone of their success, has vanished in recent matches. Individual errors from the likes of Van Dijk, Ryan Gravenberch, and Ibrahima Konate have proven costly, conceding goals and exposing vulnerabilities. The recent attacking struggles exposed the huge problems in the defense, as their key defensive players can't keep up with the counterattacks opposing them.

The defensive line's struggles resonate throughout the team, disrupting midfield stability and hindering attacking momentum. A concerted effort to shore up the backline is crucial, with a focus on both individual and tactical adjustments.

The emergence of young talent, such as Conor Bradley, offers hope for the future, but immediate reinforcements are needed to address the team's defensive deficiencies. Fresh legs and a renewed focus on defense are essential to withstand the relentless pressure of top-tier opposition. Looking at Liverpool now, one wonder how they even end up at the top end of the table, as they seem to struggle against everyone.

Furthermore, the lack of depth in defensive midfield positions shows Liverpool's defensive frailties. Investing in a defensive midfielder capable of shielding the backline and breaking up opposition attacks could provide the necessary stability to fortify the defense. Liverpool's midfield is stacked, but their tactical approach need sto change, as it is now clear they did not find the right positions for the right players. Put Szoboszlai and Mac Allister higher up, pull Wataru Endo and Harvey Eliot back, sell Ryan Gravenberch and hide Virgil van Dijk until he finds himself again.

A Summer of rebuilding for Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool premier league

As Liverpool's Premier League title hopes fade, the upcoming summer transfer window presents an opportunity for renewal. Addressing the team's leadership vacuum, offensive stagnation, and defensive diffculties are essential to restoring their title hopes next season

With Klopp's departure looming, Liverpool must act decisively to reshape their squad for the challenges ahead. By addressing these three critical areas, the Reds can lay the foundation for a brighter future and reclaim their status as title contenders.