Despite the sale of Reus to Bayern, we didn’t make too many signings in the Summer. Klopp had already signed Walter from Dortmund, so the strikeforce was almost complete. The midfield had a variety of options, and despite lacking quality in defense, we had plenty of depth.
Aubameyang (£7.75m) and Blaszczkowski (£4m) found new homes at Hoffenheim and Sevilla respectively. Erik Durm was also loaned out in order to make room for new signing, ex-Southampton left-back Alex Telles.
For the first team we were also able to sign Youri Tielemans. Although the Belgian spent the first half of the season on the sidelines with various different injuries, he put in a few promising performances near the end of the campaign. Gaston Gil Romero was also signed for a very reasonable £4.9m, concluded mainly due to the deal agreed to loan him back to Estudiantes until December 31.
To complete the frontline we were also able to grab a bargain on deadline day; Leo Baptistao of Atleti coming in for a fee of £2.6m.
All of this gave me a best XI as follows, as well as the rating given to them in that role by the system I talked about in my last article (excludes out-on-loan players). Note that the strongest XI is the XI selected by myself, not by the system. I’ve merely given them a rating for comparison purposes.
GK (GK-D): Romain Weidenfeller (-)
RB (FB-A): Kevin Großkreutz (7.47)
CB (CD-D): Sokratis Papastathopoulos (7.52)
CB (CD-D): Neven Subotic (7.56)
LB (CWB-A): Alex Telles (7.18)
DM (BWM-D): Sven Bender (8.21)
DM (DLP-S): Ilkay Gundogan (7.89)
RM (W-A): Douglas Costa (7.32)
LM (WP-A): Shinji Kagawa (7.53)
ST (CF-S): Walter (7.33)
ST (AF-A): Ciro Immobile (7.44)
Average Rating: 7.55.
The good thing about recording all their attributes at the beginning of the season is that if I change any of the formulas, then I can also backdate it and still compare to the first XI I had.
The reason the formula is likely to change is partially due to reasons Shrewnaldo outlined in a previous comment: the attributes the game recommends for each role are not necessarily the ones we’re looking for.
Eventually I got around to the season itself; adopting a plug-and-play approach as I always do in the first year. With limited tactical changes, and nonsensical rotation, we eventually finished 5th. Avoiding Champions League is very annoying as a number of our early transfer targets aren’t overly keen.
Much like the nature of my first season, this article is pretty dull and features no depth. The sequel should be a bit more interesting.