Liverpool Season Preview
Liverpool Season Preview: Are Liverpool Set To Struggle This Season?
We take a look at how Liverpool’s are preparing for next season’s campaign and whether they are in a position to reclaim their Premier League crown. Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have all strengthened their teams ahead of the new season, adding players who add quality and depth to their squads.
Last season’s third place finish was somewhat of a disappointment following their 2019-20 title-winning season. What the final league table doesn’t show is the number of injuries that hampered the Reds during the season. Losing both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to long-term injuries early in the year exposed a lack of depth at the back. This led to defensive-midfielders, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, playing out of position as make-shift central defenders and lowering the standard of their midfield. The arrival of on-loan Schalke defender Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies from Preston North End never really worked out, with Davies still yet to play a single minute for the club. The lack of stability at the back, a long with the loss of form of both Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, placed a lot of pressure on Mo Salah to produce match-winning performances. Luckily for Klopp’s side, the Egyptian star was able to lead the attack and grabbed 22 goals and provided 5 assists. Liverpool are set to struggle to score goals this season, unless they invest in a forward to share the goal-scoring load with Salah and Mane.
All 100 of Mohamed Salah’s goals for Liverpool 🔴
Some of these finishes are just unbelievable 😍pic.twitter.com/PxenHPXDJc
— Goal (@goal) October 18, 2020
Transfer Window Activity
So far Liverpool have only signed Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig to help shore up their defence. They have been linked to other players, such as; Lille striker Jonathan David, West Ham midfielder Jarrod Bowen and recently Portuguese midfielder, Renato Sanches. With just over 2 weeks left in the transfer window a lot can still happen, but Klopp has indicated that signings will be limited, as he prefers to have a smaller squad, as it keeps players sharp.
A number of Liverpool’s squad players could be heading toward the exit this summer. Gini Wijnaldum’s move to PSG will be a significant loss to team and it doesn’t seem that signing a replacement is a priority. Nat Phillips has been linked to a move to West Ham, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could depart for Southampton and Lyon have reportedly made an opening bid for Swiss midfielder, Xherdan Shaqiri. Wolves are rumoured to be interested in Divock Origi, which would be surprising, given that Liverpool lack depth in that area. Apparently Klopp wants to offload players before potentially indulging in some late transfer window activity.
Renato Sanches – Technical Elegance pic.twitter.com/QDICXzK1mE
— Hugo ✞ (@HugoFilmzi) August 5, 2021
Liverpool possess an unquestionably talented squad and a strong spine of a side. Their chances of reclaiming their crown from Manchester City will depend on a few things.
At the back, can Virgil van Dijk return to the side and produce the level of performance that we have come to expect from the Dutch centre-half. Will the returning Joe Gomez, or new signing, Konate, form a dependable partnership with van Dijk. Can Trent Alexander-Arnold rediscover the same prolific form that he displayed during Liverpool’s title-winning campaign? Will additional defensive players be added to cover potential injuries, after they were left so badly exposed last season?
Liverpool’s midfield is both an area of strength, but with more question marks hanging over key players and positions. Can Jordan Henderson stay injury-free this season? Will Diogo Jota be given more playing time after he made an immediate impact following his mid-season transfer from Wolves? Will goals continue to come from Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, after both stars have enjoyed a summer without any international commitments? Will Gigi Wijnaldum be replaced? Will Thiago continue to build on his latter-season displays and be more influential in matches? Will Naby Keita be given more opportunities to find form on a regular basis?
Virgil van Dijk: "I can’t wait to see everyone at Anfield." #awlive [lfc]
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) August 4, 2021
Liverpool’s title challenge seems to have a number of question marks around it. When you compare the current state of their side and compare it to their closest rivals, it is hard to argue that they are in as strong a position as either Manchester City and Chelsea. They could be set for another third place finish, or possibly even lower, of Manchester United’s signings integrate successfully into their team. However, a few clever signings could enhance Liverpool’s title chances, but Klopp needs to work fast as the transfer window closes on 31 August.
We hope you enjoyed this article ‘Liverpool Season Preview: Are Liverpool Set to Struggle This Season?’ How do you think Liverpool will fare in the upcoming season? Let us know!
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