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Jurgen Klopp given perfect chance to plan for Liverpools next phase as transfer talks arrive – Liverpool Echo

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Twelve months ago, Liverpool’s wait was an anxious one.

After sweeping virtually all before them in the Premier League, the only thing stopping them from being crowned champions was the fate of the season itself.

As the world retreated back behind closed doors, a 25-point gap at the summit of the division left them just six more from history.

Isolation was a splendid one for Jurgen Klopp and his players.

The March international break is usually reserved for a mid-season jaunt for Klopp and his staff, but the nature of the global pandemic sent the Reds squad back into their homes to patiently await their fate.

Of course, they would get to enjoy the fruits of their labour. They would just be made to wait three months for it.

The season would finish and the title would be theirs before the end of June.

Just over a year on from that temporary closure of the Premier League, Liverpool‘s March of 2021 is a very different animal.

But there is still another wait on for Klopp and his team.

This time, it is a relatively short one, with 19 days between fixtures giving them their longest fixtureless gap of the campaign.

Klopp filled some of that space with an internal 11-versus-11 at the AXA Training Centre last week.

With the FA Cup taking centre stage, Liverpool’s fourth-round exit to Manchester United gave them the weekend off.

But with the Reds’ international contingent set for duty over the next 10 days or so, Klopp now has some down-time to plot.

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A chance, then, to plan for Arsenal on April 3.

A good time to focus on Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League also.

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And an opportunity to work out a way back to winning ways at Anfield against Aston Villa on April 10.

Chelsea, of course, will rightly consider themselves favourites for that top-four place at present and West Ham also remain above the Reds after their 3-3 draw with Arsenal.

But a hard-fought and confidence-building win at Molineux a week ago could go a long way towards seeing the Liverpool rediscover their mojo.

How much of that we will find out on the other side of the break, but back-to-back wins over RB Leipzig and Wolves have helped raise the spirits, unquestionably.

But for all the work Klopp has on the other side of the international weeks to prepare himself for, will this period away from match-day focus give him some time to strategise beyond this campaign?

The German would say no in public, of course, but there is something to be said for succession planning as the club approach their next transfer window.

It will be difficult to make any plans concrete until the club know definitively that their income will or will not be bolstered by the riches that the Champions League provides.

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Liverpool, if they are indeed outside of Europe’s premier competition next season, may yet benefit from what is widely anticipated to be another relatively sensible and careful approach to the window.

With clubs still reeling from the financial ramifications of the pandemic, few have been insulated by their wealth.

Perhaps only Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain will be able to operate unimpeded by the lack of match-day revenue for what will be nearly 18 months by the time the new season kicks off.

Now more than ever is the time to be resourceful, it would seem.

That could help preserve much of the status quo across football’s big markets.

Klopp will want to keep the large portion of his group intact in the close season in the belief that a fully-fit squad will be able to once more challenge for the title next term.

There will inevitably be tweaks needed, however.

Definitive discussions over the specifics may not need to be undertaken during this international break, but there is at least some time to open those internal talks.

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