Liverpool were beaten to the Premier League title by Manchester City last season, but only one of their signings this summer would appear to be an immediate first-choice option
Image: BT Sport)
Liverpool are at serious risk of slipping even further behind Manchester City having missed out on the Premier League title to them last season.
The Reds have signed three players so far this summer to boost Jurgen Klopp’s squad, with Sadio Mane heading out of the exit door. But just one of those three, club-record signing Darwin Nunez, would appear to be an immediate first-choice option.
Instead, Liverpool brought in Calvin Ramsay to provide back-up to Trent Alexander-Arnold and young striker Fabio Carvalho. Their business has been in stark contrast to City, who paid m 51million to sign one of the world’s best strikers in Erling Haaland.
And they have followed up that signing by agreeing a fee with Leeds for midfielder Kalvin Phillips. According to The Athletic, City will pay £ 42m for the England international, who was Pep Guardiola’s top target to replace the departing Fernandinho.
Phillips is seen by many pundits as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and is a major boost to Guardiola’s squad. The deal is expected to be finalized in the next week, with Guardiola’s options now looking stronger than ever.
Despite City adding two players who could immediately be seen in their starting line-up, Liverpool are not expected to sign anymore players. Instead, they are set to ignore a warning from Steven Gerrard that their midfield department is in need of new additions.
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“Jordan [Henderson] and James Milner are not getting any younger. They’re still top players at this level, of course, and they’ll want to go on and do more. But for Liverpool, if you think about the next five, six, seven years, they’re going to need a midfielder – an eight – who can get goals, who can get double figures, “he told BT Sport after the Champions League final .
“They are heavily reliant on the front three – or the front five if you include Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino. But you always need one of those midfielders that’s going to get in the box and get you goals.”
Rather than follow Gerrard’s advice, Liverpool will put their search for a midfielder on hold until next summer. Jude Bellingham will be their top target in that window, but it will mean waiting another year before bringing in a player that Klopp needs now.
That is especially the case following City’s apparently successful bid for Phillips, with the reigning champions now surely the favorites to retain their title. By contrast, the Reds appear to have a weaker squad going into next season, given the departure of Mane and the continued failure to boost their options in midfield.
That is unless manager of the year Klopp can work miracles to mount a title challenge, though the German’s squad could be under pressure over the coming campaign. Whether the Reds’ decision to put the brakes on bringing in a midfielder will be a masterstroke or a disaster is now the big question.