Why Liverpool can compete with Manchester City for the League title
The 2017/18 season for Manchester City will go down in the history books as one of the finest ever for a team in the Premier League as they reached a record 100 points. Midway through the season, they were the clear favourites for the quadruple.
But we know that didn’t happen and we are not here to talk about Manchester City. We are here to talk about the team that went toe to toe with Pep Guardiola’s men and knocked them out of the Champions League.
Liverpool’s “so close yet so far” moment came in the Champions League final when Loris Karius threw away the trophy with big ears but all that seems like a distant past now as Liverpool had, arguably, the best transfer window in the Premier League. Jurgen Klopp has strengthened his side in each and every position that needed strengthening.
The arrival of Van Dijk from Southampton in January had already cured most of their problems at the back. But the solution to the goalkeeper conundrum was found by the arrival of Alisson Becker from AS Roma. The Brazilian impressed last season as Roma beat Barcelona to reach the semifinals of the Champions League.
Emre Can left Anfield for Juventus in the summer and that left a huge void in the midfield but the Liverpool board acted swiftly and got Fabinho from Monaco, who impressed the fans in the pre-season. A defensive midfielder of his quality would make sure that Liverpool don’t get overrun in the midfield, especially in the big matches.
Liverpool’s holy trinity of Salah, Firmino and Mane is one of the best attacking trios in Europe. But what hurt Liverpool’s chances last season was the lack of quality depth in the squad. Ings and Solanke were never going to be game changers off the bench.
Klopp has got Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City to add more quality in depth. Of course, he won’t start ahead of Mohamed Salah on the right-wing but he will provide Klopp with an alternative option when his team struggles to break down a tight defence. The Swiss winger is a proven Premier League player and can help the Reds compete in four different competitions.
These signings by Klopp are brilliant and they are solid players that have made the squad deep enough and good enough to win trophies. But one new signing that has brought the fans to the edge of their seats is Naby Keita. He arrived from RB Leipzig with a reputation of being an energetic box-to-box midfielder.
But the fans in England got the glimpse of his talent when he ran the midfield on his debut against West Ham United. His link-up play with Robertson was particularly impressive and his directness in running with the ball caused havoc in the Hammers’ defence.
Liverpool beat City thrice last season and have started this season as the favourites to fight them for the Premier League title. The great quality and depth in the squad have finally given Jurgen Klopp the strength he desired to mount a serious title challenge for the first time since 2014.