There are only 4 weeks to wait ‘til the start of the Premier League. Over the next few weeks @0riginalfooty will preview the new season, take a look at each team and offer our predictions as to where each side will finish. Here we take a look at Liverpool.
Liverpool were within touching distance of the title last season but fell just short. Since then, star man Luis Suarez has jetted off to Barcelona for a fee of £75 million and there will now be question marks around Liverpool’s title chances without their main attacking influence. There will be a greater concern as to whether they can even remain in the top 4 this season with Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City all strengthening and Liverpool having to play more fixtures due to their involvement in the Champions League. The battle for the top four has never been more intriguing and Liverpool will be at the heart of it.
Brendan Rodgers. Rodgers has really made a name for himself in English football. He earned promotion with Swansea to the Premier League and wowed people with their possession based and stylish attacking football as he kept them in the league. After such success with Swansea he was handed the task to turn Liverpool back in to title contenders after years in the wilderness and came desperately close to achieving his brief last season.
Liverpool have already been busy in spending the £75 million they received for Luis Suarez and have made some big signings. They brought in both Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana from Premier League rivals Southampton for £4 million and £25 million respectively. German Under-21 midfielder Emre Can moved from Bayer Leverkusen in a £10 million deal. However, the most exciting signing for Liverpool fans will be that of Lazar Markovic, the former Benfica wide man, who they have spent £20 million on.
Who is tipped to join them?
Rodgers may have already spent big but with Suarez’s huge move bringing in lots of money, he still has plenty to play with. They have agreed an £8.5 million deal to sign Loic Remy from Queens Park Rangers and that transfer is expected to take place sooner rather than later. Dejan Lovren is another major summer transfer target for Liverpool but Southampton are demanding a large fee for a move to take place. Finally, Divock Origi, who impressed for Belgium in the World Cup, is likely to complete a move to Anfield in the near future.
Who should they sign?
Liverpool, for all their attacking prowess, were defensively weak last season and Rodgers will be keen to sure that up. Dejan Lovren would be a good signing to strengthen their central defence but they could also do with a left-back as Aly Cissokho’s loan spell has finished. Ben Davies from Swansea is an option.
Daniel Sturridge. After Suarez’s departure, the weight of expectation to provide the goals for Liverpool will be England’s main front man Daniel Sturridge. Sturridge has an eye for goal, a fierce left foot strike and makes intelligent runs that are a nightmare for defenders to keep track of.
The loss of Suarez is a big blow to Liverpool and it’s difficult to tell how they will cope with it. Some players are irreplaceable and Suarez definitely fits in to that category. The problem for Liverpool is that whilst they have been significantly weakened with the loss of their star striker, other teams around them have really strengthened. Furthermore, they will be playing significantly more fixtures this season due to their Champions League involvement, which will put more strain on their squad. Liverpool will be in and around the Champions League places but I see them falling just short. Expect Liverpool to finish 5th.