Liverpool is coming off their most successful season in quite some time. They repeated their fourth-place finish from a season ago but did so while playing a more extensive schedule and dealing with more injuries. But perhaps the most impressive thing was making it all the way to the Champions League final; something realistically seemed a ways off at the beginning of the season.
Liverpool may have the best front trio in the world in Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and of course, Mohamed Salah. Goals will not be at a premium as long as the Reds have these guys. And they had a good midfield to back them up last year, although they were not as flashy or elite.
The defense finally became dependable, performing as one of the best in the world after their early season loss to Tottenham. And they only got better with the acquisition of Virgil Van Dijk. Andy Robertson was the best Premier League left-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold settled in at right back, and Dejan Lovren became a dependable partner was very good during Croatia’s magical run during the 2018 World Cup.
So if Liverpool were to return the same team, they would probably get better, especially with the development of the youth. However, they would not be title contenders. One thing they lacked last year was the depth that Jurgen Klopp can utilize during brutal stretches.
It really took a toll on the players and made them more likely to get hurt. So, this summer transfer window was going to be a defining one in the Jurgen Klopp era. This summer could be one where Liverpool, like in years past, decide to sell their best players and continue this cycle of being fringe-elite.
Or they can take advantage of the opportunity and take the next step and stand alongside the elites in Europe. And so far so good, but they need to continue to make moves during the transfer window.
Liverpool has already secured the services of midfielders Naby Keita and Fabinho, and both have looked good and the kind of additions the midfield needs. Not only do they bring more depth, but they add dynamism and explosiveness the Reds lacked with Emre Can, Gigi Wijnaldum, and Adam Lallana.
Then this past week they signed Xherdan Shaqiri, which may turn into a terrific addition. He has always been talented, and over the years has finally started to put it together. However, he has not reached his potential, and who better to help with that than Jurgen Klopp and his system? And the Swiss star adds much-needed cover on the outside flanks, where the squad lacks depth.
But they should not stop there. They need to be aggressive and continue to add-on because the schedule is going to be brutal and you never want the drop-off from the first-team to the bench to be too huge. And they made a move that would qualify as extremely aggressive, by making a rumored bid for Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio. Whether it was true or not, who knows, but if it was, it’s nice to see Liverpool go after a player of his caliber.
French national and Lyon star Nabil Fekir has been linked with Liverpool since the spring and at one time, there appeared to be a deal set and completed, until it fell apart. But it appears that it may be on if respected commentator (and voice of FIFA) Martin Tyler is to believed.
Martin Tyler said "Liverpool will get Nabil Fekir from Lyon, they will pay the price in installments over the course of his contract with the club"
Did Martin Tyler just break the Fekir deal? #LFC
— LFC Fans Corner (@LFCFansCorner) July 15, 2018
If they can pull this off, it would be huge, because he is only 25 and entering his best years. He is a quality player who was good enough to get playing time on the World Champs France. He can play both as an attacking midfielder or on the wings, giving Liverpool adequate depth in the wide areas.
Maybe Julian Draxler is another guy Jurgen Klopp can target. Liverpool is yet to replace Phillipe Coutinho, and the German international would be a great replacement.
But perhaps the biggest signing would be Roma goalkeeper Alison Becker, who Liverpool have reportedly made a world-record offer for. We all know that they need a goalie bad, after Lorius Karius’ flop during the Champions League Final, along with another blunder during last week’s preseason match.
Most of the elites around the world have good number ones. Liverpool has been shaky back there. They have no one like a Thibaut Courtois, David Da Gea, Manuel Neuer, etc. Alison can be that guy for them who solidifies the goal and improves the defense even more.
The options are there; it’s on Liverpool to go after and acquire them. To be able to take the next step would mean to have players on the bench that can start for almost any other team in the world.