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Have Liverpool set themselves up for success next season?

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Brendan Rodgers LiverpoolLiverpool have undoubtedly set out to do their business early and achieve a full, settled squad before the season starts on the 17th of August. The Merseyside club have shown astuteness, signing the Belgian stopper Simon Mignolet from Sunderland to provide competition for the previously unchallenged and inconsistent Pepe Reina.

The acquisition of Kolo Toure on a free transfer is another smart signing, brought in to replace the experience lost with the retirement of Jamie Carragher.

This summer transfer window has also seen Liverpool add two promising Spaniards to their ranks in the form of Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas. Luis Alberto arrives off the back of a prosperous season on loan at Barcelona B from Sevilla, and Aspas joins after a successful debut season in La Liga where his goals were crucial in ensuring Celta Vigo’s safety.

The issue with these two signings is that they are promising, and are not of the proven quality that their rivals for the Champions League spots are targeting. In terms of achieving Champions League qualification, Liverpool are behind their rivals in terms of squad quality and depth as shown by their seventh placed finish last season behind local rivals Everton.

The club evidently need to play catch up but so far have not been able to sign the calibre of player required to really compete at the top. An example of this failure to sign top players is the club’s top summer transfer target Henrikh Mkhitaryan deciding against a move to Anfield and instead joining last season’s Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund.

Meanwhile Manchester City have already added Fernandinho and Jesus Navas to their squad for an outlay nearing fifty million, Tottenham have signed one of the stars of the Confederations Cup in Paulinho, and the long-awaited arrival of German international Andre Schurrle to Chelsea has further enhanced their attacking options.

All three of these clubs are expected to make further moves in the transfer market and have been linked with some of the most sought after players in world football. Arsenal and Manchester United are yet to sign any proven players of note, but have been heavily linked with players such as Thiago Alcantara, Higuain and most worryingly for Liverpool – Suarez.

Luis Suarez was a talismanic figure for Liverpool last season scoring over a third of the club’s goals in the league, recording the most touches in the opposition penalty box and almost twice the amount of dribbles by any player in the Premier League (Source: Guardian).

To lose him at all, let alone to another Premier League club would be sickening for Liverpool fans and players alike. In fact such is his importance to the team, it should be paramount to managing director Ian Ayre to keep the Uruguayan at all costs despite his previous disciplinary problems and attempts to leave the club.

Kolo Toure has stated that he believes the squad is capable of winning trophies and qualifying for the Champions League next season (Source: BBC), but this will not be possible if the club loses Suarez. The current setup provides a good foundation to build a strong team capable of challenging for major honours.

Brendan Rodgers’ tactical philosophy clearly began to influence how the side played, as shown by the improvement in goal difference from +7 the previous season to +28 in 2012/2013. Gerrard remains a hugely influential figure in the side and the encouraging form of Coutinho, Sturridge and Sterling during different times of the season are reasons to be optimistic.

These positive areas of the Liverpool team will however remain only encouraging signs, if young, unproven and promising is the calibre of player that the club continues to recruit.

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11 comments

  • Dean jones says:

    If we didn’t have Suarez last season,there was a real feeling we could have been relegated.The same can be said if we lose Suarez this summer,and with the ( As Rodgers puts it ) Squad fillers ;-( I really think where going to get caught with are pants down again ( JUST LIKE LAST SUMMER ) I don’t trust Ian ayre or John Henry to deliver our club decent players.Swansea & Southampton have strengthened better than our club ;-( 8th at best I’m afraid,and it’s only going to get worse under this regime.

    • Dan says:

      Take your negative post elsewhere!!

    • Kingsley says:

      Absolute rubbish. Relegated without Suarez? Fact is the team scored more goals without him last season, conceded fewer goals and also gained more points per game when he didn’t play.

      Coutinho and Sturridge were more important as the goals were shared around the team more when they arrived. If they had arrived in September a top 4 position would have been more likely.

      The player wants to go and continues to do his talking via the media. Let him go. Just get the right fee and don’t sell him to another EPL club and I’ll be happy.

    • Sean A says:

      Disagree with everything you said there. Why so pesimisitc? Coutinho and Strurrige are two examples of unbelievable pieces of buisness. We did not lose a single game without Suarez last season and with an extra 40/50m it will be invested in a top quality forward.

  • Redsim says:

    The signings we’ve made so far look promising but we are nowhere near a squad that can challenge for top 4. Desparately need a quality CB, DM, and a pacey winger

  • Paul walker says:

    Utter nonsense, if we didnt have suarez’s goals we would have still finished 7th!! No player is bigger than the club and despite the fact that I did love the guy the facts are we didnt miss him at all in the last 4 games, if anything we played better as we played as a more cohesive unit. Sturridge and coutinho have taken the club forward, our squad is getting the depth and players like ibe and sterling have more experience. So much so it will be like having new signings with those two.

    Against the top teams we held our own, because the kids coming through are outstanding. One or two more signings and we’ll be pushing hard for 4th with or without Suarez as our key player this season looks to be coutinho.

    • adrianwilson says:

      ?Absolutly right them games we missed if he did.nt get band we would of been higher

  • Jon says:

    LFC will continue with or without suarez, we did it with torres. I think sturidge will be our top scorer next season with 25 plus and he won’t roll around and sulk at every decision.
    I actually feel ashamed that i defended this guy, as he has shown his true colours and lack of respect for our team. I never want to see him in a red shirt again.i hope gerrard goes through him and gives him something to cry about.

  • Bamidele says:

    This writes need to get there heads off critics… We now have a better squad with dept one or two top players would make us stronger. Take a look at our latest Formation which i saw online
    Formation: 4-5-1
    —————–Mignolet————–
    –Johnson–Sketel–Agger–Enrique—
    ——-Lucas——————Gerrad—–
    ——————-coutinho—————
    —Sturridge——————–Suarez–
    ———————-Aspas—————–
    Substitutes: Toure, Sterling, Borini, wisdom, Downing, Reina, Alberto, Henderson, Allen, Falagna, Spearing

  • Dvdsn says:

    I prefer LFC being relegated without Suarez than to be in the top four with him. Such a selfish person thinking of himself than the disgrace he’s cost LFC. he had the record hitting the post in one game and hitting the cross bars when he started playing in the EPL, now that his found his foot and scoring he wants to leave. Supported by fans and managers and still doesn’t respect any of them. No wonder De Boer sold him even though he needed him to play CL. Diving, biting, cheating, causing Ghanaians not to progress to the semis which the whole nation cursed him. Since then he can score goals but the team he plays for, will NEVER win any trophies. . Watch it. Good rediance! U can leave!

  • Ebb Bee says:

    Yes,I think we’re on the right path becoming champions league place contenders next season.And if the man chooses to go,ehy not allow him coz after all he’s not the only betrayer,Torres and others did it but we got him.He too can go,Sturridges,Coutinho,Aspas and the guys can do it,next season,bet me.He’s really gonna miss Liverpool and would rather think he didn’t leave.With God nothing is impossible.BR 4eva.YNWA..

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