Liverpool season preview: Underestimated by so many already but surely a title fight is on the cards?
Last season Liverpool was defending their Premier League crown and lots of fans and pundits backed them to win it again without any hesitancy.
It was going very well as on Christmas Liverpool were yet again top of the league even without their two top centre-backs; Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
Then it all started to crumble.
The losing streak at Anfield due to the whole fluidity of the side being in tatters due to the well documented defensive injury crisis.
However, it all started to come back in the last ten league games.
The fluidity, the attacking flow, the ruthlessness was there for everyone to see as Liverpool won eight out of their last ten to remarkably finish third.
Now Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip are back yet if you go with the popular predictions Liverpool are not in the title question.
Transfer window so far
Fans, especially on social media, find themselves so bothered and obsessed about transfers that it clouds their vision and judgement at times.
Due to clubs around Liverpool splashing big on players many, at this current moment in time, some supporters are not pleased with Liverpool’s activity.
However, they should be.
Although it is only one signing, Ibrahim Konate is one hell of a coup for the £34M he was bought for.
One of the brightest, strongest, quickest centre backs in Europe to help out the defensive situation which should realistically excite lots of fans.
Admittedly though throughout the summer the same message has persisted that to sign anyone else Liverpool will have to sell to buy due to the size of the squad.
Therefore this means technically Gini Wijnaldum has not been replaced by a new man.
Harry Wilson, Taiwo Awoniyi, Marko Grujic, Liam Millar and Kamil Grabara have all left on permanent deals for a combined fee of £33M.
The only loan deal that has been sanctioned so far is Sepp Van Den Berg to Preston.
Whether any more players leave like Xherdan Shaqiri, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi remains to be seen but they will have to move on first before any more players are signed.
Liverpool did things slightly differently in pre-season playing four mini-games.
The first two were half-an-hour games against Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart which both ended being 1-1 draws.
After that there was two 90 minute games, first of all there was a 1-0 victory against Mainz then a 4-3 loss to Hertha Berlin.
Van Dijk made his comeback against Berlin and Jovetic scored a nice goal which would have let the Dutchman know that the return to action will not be easy.
Joe Gomez also made his long-awaited return to action.
Just before the two Anfield friendlies there was the other mini games.
Two hour long games against Bologna which Liverpool won 2-0 then 1-0.
The big Anfield return was great for fans, apart from the ticket disaster which meant they had to queue outside for a ridiculously long time.
A 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao was followed by a 3-1 victory against Osasuna.
The likes of Harvey Elliot, Kaide Gordon and Kostas Tsimikas were Klopp’s standout players however what was arguably the most impressive thing was the team press in every game which is very promising for the upcoming season.
Obviously the centre backs will be key this season for Liverpool after the crisis that happened last campaign.
Ibrahim Konate, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and of course lastly Virgil Van Dijk who has just signed a new contract until 2025 with Liverpool backing him to return to his very best.
Other new contracts consisted off Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho who are all obviously key to Klopp’s ambitions this season.
Mohamed Salah is expected to be the next player to sign a new deal and is certainly going to be Liverpool’s biggest threat going forward once again.
Sadio Mane has had a summer off so should be as sharp as ever and will be looking to be competing with Salah for the golden boot after his underwhelming return of just 16 goals last season.
A surprise key player could be Naby Keita.
Realistically he needs to be as this could be his last chance to prove to Jurgen Klopp he can have an injury free year and show he is up to the task of replacing Gini Wijnaldum.
He looked great in pre-season so now it is time to prove it in the most important biggest tournaments.
What to expect
A title fight.
This is practically the same Liverpool squad that blitzed the league in 19/20 and yet people really think they will not be in the fight.
Gini Wijnaldum of course has left since but Liverpool have added Thiago, Jota, Tsimikas and Konate to that title winning squad.