It was only around a year ago that Liverpool were gearing up to defend their first league title in over 30 years. Jürgen Klopp’s side were riding the crest of a wave. After the first few games, they were looking in fine fettle to continue their superiority over England’s top flight; building a dynasty in the process. However, injuries hampered the majority of the Reds’ season. That was particularly the case at the back; Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joël Matip all suffering long-term injuries.
Liverpool were in crisis mode at the turn of the year. But they managed to salvage third place with a string of victories from a makeshift side. Heading into the new campaign, optimism was high at Anfield when owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) activated the release clause of RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konaté. While the Frenchman may not be a stalwart in the Reds backline at just 22, he provides cover in a defence that was torn apart last year.
Liverpool’s transfer troubles?
The problem Liverpool face is that’s where the spending stopped. Even in the midst of a pandemic last summer, they invested in the squad; Konstantinos Tsimikas, Thiago and Diogo Jota arriving in Merseyside. With Gini Wijnaldum departing for Paris Saint-Germain at the end of his contract, fingers will be pointed in the owner’s direction if things start to capitulate again this season. There is simply a lack of reinforcement and investment in a side that has allowed so many fringe players to leave the squad over this transfer window.
And there have been no other incomings for a side that has been together for the best part of three seasons and in the back stages of their peak years.
The Reds have certainly began this season how they finished off the last; two wins and a draw from their first three, while already playing the current European champions. But the issue lies with the cope and demand of playing twice a week. And there’s a question if the same players can repeat performances consistently until the January window opens.
Liverpool have a league to try and claim back. They also have to compete in Europe, with a tough group of AC Milan, Porto, and Spanish champions Atlético Madrid. It was the latter who knocked Klopp’s side out of the competition the last time fans were in attendance at Anfield for a Champions League match.
Issues in attack
The concern with the lack of investment lies with injuries to the front line. In attacking areas, Liverpool are scary and play a wonderful brand of attacking football. But with the front three of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané turning 30 this year, perhaps they are overdue an injury. This would severely hamper Klopp’s title pursuit because the back up forwards are not even close to the same calibre. This is without mentioning the latter two will be competing at the Africa Cup of Nations in the new year; making them unavailable for two matches.
Although the Reds have a competent side, which the betting exchange suggests can compete on all fronts, questions will have to be asked of the owners if injuries do happen. It also needs the right players to be brought in to help carry some of the load. It must be bore in mind that we have seen fans demonstrate protests against their owners and had success, namely Manchester United and the Glazer family.
You feel if things do start to go south then FSG could suffer a similar fate.