Much has been said about Liverpool and the on-going Luis Suarez transfer saga. At the present time it does not look like the controversial Uruguayan star is going anywhere.
That will be good news for Liverpool and their hopes of finishing in the Champions League places.
The Liverpool squad from last season was a decent one and the Reds summer signings so far have been a real mixed lot.
The Reds have brought in one of last season’s best performing keepers in the shape of Simon Mignolet from Sunderland.
Iago Aspas arrived from Celta Vigo and is the sort of player that could be out of the game for an hour, but then produce a touch of magic.
That is just part of his make-up. His career is Spain has taught us that he can be inconsistent.
New signing from Barcelona Luis Alberto is virtual unknown to the British football public. In fact I had to look him up, as although I am a fan of Barcelona my knowledge is not great on the Catalans B team.
By all accounts though he has made a good start to his Reds career in pre-season and could be one for the future. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is trying to build a successful team for the future and Alberto certainly holds potential.
Kolo Toure has also come in from Manchester City. The veteran centre-back has come in as a direct replacement for Jamie Carragher, who called time on his long Liverpool career this summer. Toure should be a solid enough signing for the Reds and will not let anybody down.
The new signings could all turn out to be decent ones, but Liverpool has yet to sign a real marquee player this summer. The Reds have failed to bring in a real big name marquee player that will make the fans believe that the club can really challenge next season.
Ironically, I think the signings that Brendan Rodgers made in January could be Liverpool’s best assets this season, Suarez aside of course assuming he stays. Striker Daniel Sturridge and attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho really started to impress towards the end of last season.
Both players are relatively young with undoubted talent and it could be a big season for the pair. Sturridge is just bursting with potential. He never really got a fair chance at Chelsea, after moving to Stamford Bridge at a young age from Manchester City.
However, since moving to Merseyside he has looked like a star in the making. The new season could be the one that Sturridge finally fully fulfils his potential and becomes a Premier League star.
Coutinho’s promise was spotted at an early age by Italian giants Inter, but his time in Milan did not quite work out. The youngster seems comfortable at Liverpool and in Brendan Rodgers style of play. He could be one to watch next season, if he can find some sort of consistency.
Love him or loathe him Luis Suarez is one of the best players in the English top-flight and is vital to Liverpool, if they are to have any hope of making it into the top four. Constant speculation over a move to Arsenal will not have helped the Uruguayan’s mind set though.
However, as it is the controversial striker will be at Anfield next season. He will miss the first six games of the season, but after that he will obviously be one of Liverpool’s most important players. His goals could be the key to Liverpool having a good season.
Last season Liverpool definitely showed progression under Brendan Rodgers. The Reds players started to become more familiar with Rodgers way of playing and ideas. However, Liverpool’s main problem was inconsistency.
Liverpool just could not find the level of consistency needed to challenge for the top six, never mind the top four. Liverpool did start showing encouraging signs last season though and that encouragement should be taken into the new season.
Liverpool does have a chance of making the top four next season. Changes at Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea will probably not stop the trio finishing in the top three positions in the top-flight.
However, Tottenham look set to lose star player Gareth Bale, which could completely change the way that Andre Villas-Boas’ team play next season. Bale could leave a massive gap in the Spurs team that will be difficult to fill.
Arsenal’s lack of signings could mean a lack of improvement from the Gunners in the new season. Arsene Wenger is likely to bring in players before the transfer window shuts, but Gunners fans have endured a frustrating summer so far.
The other team likely to be up there is Everton. The Toffees are also under new management and have looked decent in pre-season. However, new boss Roberto Martinez could take a while to instil his ideas into his players.
Liverpool have a very decent chance of making the Champions League spots next season, but a few more signings would give them an extra edge that the Reds may need. As always though I doubt the Reds will make it easy for their fans.
Are Liverpool realistic contenders for the Champions League spots?