Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Will Liverpool be realistic title contenders next season?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 13 Jul 2017

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp needs to strengthen his squad ahead of the new campaign

For the first half of last season, Liverpool looked like they could have been contenders for the Premier League title. They looked dynamic, fluent and scored bags full of goals.

However, around the New Year, the wheels seemed to fall off the Reds title bid and in the end, the Merseysiders finished fourth just a point clear of fifth-place Arsenal.

Everybody connected with the club knew that the team needed fresh additions to the squad, no doubt including boss Jurgen Klopp and owners FSG.

Quiet in the transfer market so far this summer

While neighbours Everton have been buying every player in sight, the Reds have been relatively quiet in the transfer market so far this summer.

They have broken their transfer record to sign Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah and striker young striker Dominic Solanke on a free transfer from Chelsea.

Then there was the whole fiasco of the Reds having to apologise for allegedly tapping up the Saints star centre-back Virgil van Dijk. Liverpool are still reported to have an interest in the defender, although Everton have also been mooted as a possible destination for the former Celtic star this summer.

Squad needs strengthening elsewhere

The signings of Salah and Solanke seem to be strange ones. The two are very attack-minded players and although they may turn out to be good signings, the Reds may have wanted to focus their attentions on strengthening at the other end of the pitch.

The two goalkeepers Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius are not convincing at the top level. Mignolet has proven shaky on a number of occasions for the Reds, while Karius did not play that much after his switch last summer from Mainz in his homeland.

Then there is the left back issue. The Reds played versatile former England international James Milner in the position for most of last season. The experienced Milner did not let anybody down. However, it is widely acknowledged that the Reds need to sign a natural left back this summer.

Liverpool’s bid for Van Dijk was also understandable. The Reds did improve defensively towards the end of last season after looking very poor at the back at points earlier in the campaign.

For me, Matip is probably the best defender in the Reds squad, while Dejan Lovren has been decent and Ragnar Klavan is a backup player.

If the Reds signed a left back and a new centre-back, then I do believe their title hopes would improve immensely. They can be devastating at times going forward, especially with the addition of Salah to the squad. The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino can cause the best of defence problems.

However, their Achilles heel under Klopp has always been their inability to keep other teams from scoring. The German boss has not yet improved his defensive options.

Outsiders for the Premier League title next season

Liverpool have not brought in enough quality this summer to be anything other than outsiders for the title in the coming season, with the Reds odds of 12/1 to be crowned champions.

The fact that the Merseysiders are the sixth favourites illustrates that they are big outsiders for the Premier League title, despite playing some top football last season.

Liverpool fans always seem to believe that this will be their year to win the Premier League title. However, most Reds fans will know that their team are not yet strong enough to mount a realistic title challenge in the new season.

Jurgen Klopp and the clubs owners really do need to get busy in the next couple of weeks if the Reds are going to mount a serious title challenge.

Will Liverpool be realistic title contenders next season?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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