Liverpool – A force to reckon with this season

Liverpool – A force to reckon with this season

Last season’s UEFA Champions League finalists, Liverpool, have over the summer transfer window, been going about tweaking and trimming the personnel in their arsenal, assembling a team – dare I say – capable of challenging for honours, come the commencement of the 2018/19 English Premier League season.

Led to the exit of Anfield was defensive midfielder, Emre Can, as he made his way to Serie A. Also departing on free transfers were 25 year-old right back, Jon Flanagan and defensive midfielder, 22-year-old Jordan Williams. While goalkeeper, Danny Ward, has moved on to Leicester City in search of first-team football action, Adam Bogdan – another goalkeeper – went to the Scottish Premiership in search of the very same.

Welcomed at Melwood are the exciting midfield trio of Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri as well as the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, £56.25 million Alisson Becker. And returning from loan are the likes of Belgian forward, Divock Origi and Serbian winger, Lazar Markovic from VfL Wolfsburg and RSC Anderlecht respectively.

Since his arrival as manager, Jurgen Klopp, has been tasked with restoring the Reds to its former glory; he has engineered them to play the swashbuckling football of yesteryears.

Liverpool – since Klopp’s arrival – have exhibited some spectacular football, only to be disappointed by lapses in concentrations, which have proven far too costly, as they put paid on their ambitions on clinching domestic and continental honours. And last season was no different – read the Loris Karius errors et al.

Having identified where they needed the most strengthening, Klopp went about his transfer business with German efficiency, as he captured the signing of a midfield trio, who would not only add to the overall balance of an energetic midfield, but allow the attackers to further freely express themselves in the final third. Not that they hadn’t already; Liverpool plundered in 135 goals across all competitions, including 84 goals.

However, their Achilles heel has been their defence, with greater concern in the goalkeeping department.

Liverpool shot stoppers, Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet, have been culpable for many an error, resulting into goals. But that burden of disappointment has also been shared a defence that has at times been guilty of questionable defending. In the league, the Kop outfit conceded 38 goals, averaging a goal a game.

“We know that is where we have to improve. We are not blind… You cannot change a natural footballing side that goes forward, but we know we have to mix that in with a good defensive, aggressive spirit to make sure they don’t score the goals,” admitted Mignolet, during the season.

Credit to the side, however, as towards the tail end of the season, emerged a visible development of understanding among the back four. This is likely to mature, coming into the new season.

Klopp has categorically stated that Brazilian number one, Alisson, will be between the sticks, sending out the clearest indication yet, of the need to shore up the defensive aspect to the game. And that is why he was allowed to open the purse to splurge on a much-needed re-enforcement in the shape of the reliable palms of the Brazilian.

Now, with a formidable side already shaping up – and with days still to spare in the transfer window – the Reds are quietly confident they have a side truly capable of challenging for honours on multiple fronts.

The league must be wary; this Liverpool outfit have in them arguably one of the most exciting and terrorising football sides the Kop has seen in recent seasons. And they mean business.

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