By Sam Hannah – @sam_hannah98
The 2017/18 season was definitely one to remember. A sensational champions league run, another season in the top 4, and a certain Egyptian won nearly every award possible. However, this summer’s transfer business has set the targets even higher with several impressive arrivals adding experience and quality to Klopp’s men.
The arrival of Alisson from Roma is yet another message of intent to our rivals that Liverpool aren’t messing around in the transfer market anymore. We are finally making transfers that are sending shock waves through the football world, and we couldn’t be happier. Many would argue that this is the most excited Liverpool fans have been going into a season, and there is a real positive buzz surrounding our club.
Klopp has built a real spine within his team, that is arguably now one of the best in the league if not the world, and we are starting to build a squad with quality that can rival the likes of Manchester City. FSG also deserve praise for backing Klopp financially and supporting his vision for the future of our club, along with Sporting Director Michael Edwards who has been overseeing the transfers. The players are also obviously buying into Klopp’s vision, with many signing new contracts such as Salah and Firmino, and many young prodigies coming through the system such as Brewster and Woodburn.
Although some fans may be getting their hopes up that this ‘could be our year’, there is still some obvious improvements that need to be made with Klopp’s squad and FSG shouldn’t stop whilst they are on a high.
So here in my opinion is what Liverpool need to improve on to really have a potentially title winning squad:
- GET FEKIR DONE!
This one really doesn’t need too much detail. It is obvious Liverpool wanted the Frenchmen a few weeks ago, and the Lyon president has suggested negotiations can be reopened if we wanted to. So just get it done!
The need for a creative midfielder has been obvious since Coutinho’s departure, and it is even more of a necessity now the Oxlade-Chamberlain is out for the majority of the season. The player wants it, so just go get the man. He could also be used as a back-up to Mane, and the need for a LW back up has also been made clear since Wilson’s departure to Derby on loan. So yeah, Michael Edwards please get this one over the line. If not, we need another number 10 and one that can go straight into the starting 11.
- Sort out the number 1 back up striker!
We currently have 4 potential options for back up strikers going into the new season; Sturridge, Ings, Solanke and Origi. All have positives, and all have negatives. The one glaring obvious similarity is the fact all of these players didn’t have the best season in front of goal last season.
We need to have a player that is experienced and can come on and make an instant impact at key points in games. In my opinion, Sturridge would be the perfect fit for this, if he wasn’t always injured. Ings appears to be on his way out, and Solanke and Origi have struggled in pre-season. This is a situation that needs to be sorted because Liverpool need a quality back up for Firmino in case of injuries. If none of the current crop of players are reliable enough, we should delve into the market for an experienced striker that can come on and change the game if need be.
- Sort out the Defence (as a squad)
Towards the end of the season, Liverpool’s starting line-up wrote itself, especially at the back. Trent and Robertson were revelations at full back, with Van Dijk and Lovren appearing to form a strong partnership. Going into the new season, that back 4 is likely to remain our defence, and most fans seem happy with that! However, our defensive back ups are where I get concerned. In my opinion, Matip and Klavan aren’t good enough to compete with our other centre backs. Clyne is a quality back up for Trent, but Moreno is not even in the same league as Robertson. Gomez looks set to finally get a chance to flourish in centre back, but we still need another quality full back and centre back in my opinion. Nathaniel Phillips has featured well in pre-season at centre back but is still potentially too young to break into the first team.
For centre back, I have always been a fan of Alfie Mawson from Swansea. He’s still young and always appear to be a strong presence in both boxes, and I believe we could get him on the cheap due to Swansea’s relegation. Harry Maguire is another option; however, I believe he would be looking to move to a club only if he was a guaranteed starter, and I still rate Lovren slightly higher. Leicester would also command a high fee after his world cup heroics, so Mawson would suit our needs more.
Full back is a harder pick. Ryan Sessegnon would be the dream pick. He’s young, ambitious, and he has a crazy amount of potential. But would he move from a newly promoted club where he is almost idolised to competing with Robertson? No probably not. He also needs to prove his worth in the premier league, although I have no doubt that it is only a matter of time before a big club comes after him. My pick would be Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell. This lad was strongly linked with Liverpool prior to the signing of Robertson, with it being reported Liverpool pulled out because Chilwell’s father was too awkward to deal with. He gained 24 league appearances last season but is still only 21, meaning he has plenty of potential and room to improve.
By Sam Hannah – @sam_hannah98