It’s not easy to improve on winning the title with 99 points, but Liverpool had to try and do that this summer.
All in all, we’d say the Reds have done a pretty good job with their squad, getting the little work that needed doing done.
Here’s our analysis in full…
Thiago Alcantara – The big one. A hugely exciting signing from Bayern Munich, Thiago Alcantara has long been one of the finest creative midfield players in Europe, and should immediately give Liverpool a new dimension in the middle of the park. The Spain international has already shown his quality in an impressive debut against Chelsea, and once he’s back in action after contracting coronavirus, he should be a joy to watch in the season ahead.
Diogo Jota – Signed almost out of nowhere from Wolves, there was no protracted transfer saga here, but LFC landed themselves one of the Premier League’s finest attacking players outside of the big six. The Portugal international, still only 23, has plenty of potential and time to keep on improving, giving Jurgen Klopp more options to rotate in attack.
Kostas Tsimikas – Unlikely to be more than a squad player, but Kostas Tsimikas looks a very capable backup option to Andrew Robertson after showing what he can do with his performances in his time at Olympiacos.
Adam Lallana – A fine servant to Liverpool, but few would argue against it being the right time to let Adam Lallana go as his contract expired. The 32-year-old is now with Brighton, and it should suit him to drop down a level in order to carry on playing regularly at this stage in his career.
Dejan Lovren – Leaving with something of a mixed reputation, Dejan Lovren was clearly no longer needed at Anfield, and some fans will be relieved that he’s gone after a reputation for making some costly errors at crucial moments. Even without signing a new centre-back, Fabinho dropping in to that role from time to time is probably still better than Lovren continuing to play at such a high level.
Rhian Brewster – A fine young striker who just couldn’t get into such a star-studded team, Rhian Brewster made the permanent move to Sheffield United. A loan might have been better, but Liverpool probably needn’t worry too much about the state of their attack without him, though they might one day regret losing this promising youngster if he develops into a prolific Premier League forward.
Ki-Jana Hoever – Another promising youngster who could go on to big things, defender Ki-Jana Hoever has made the move to Wolves. Still only 18 years of age, the Dutchman was probably not close to a first-team breakthrough, but may well be another who ends up strengthening a Premier League rival in the future.
Loris Karius – Somehow still a Liverpool player, goalkeeper Loris Karius has been loaned out once again and will now spend the season with Union Berlin. The German surely has no future on Merseyside, but fans will at least hope he can avoid a few clangers at his temporary club with the view to earning a permanent move soon.
Marko Grujic – Now onto his fourth loan move away from Liverpool, midfielder Marko Grujic is probably not heading out to Porto for some first-team experience, but to attract potential buyers. Once regarded as a big prospect, the 24-year-old surely hasn’t done enough in his previous loan spells to convince Klopp he’s got a future at Anfield.
To be fair on Liverpool, there’s not too much deadwood in this squad. Some might argue they would have done well to get rid of Xherdan Shaqiri and maybe Divock Origi, but as many would surely also say these are useful backup players that top teams need in order to compete in so many competitions.
In the near future, however, one imagines the Premier League champions will want to be getting rid of flop ‘keeper Adrian, as well as Harry Wilson, who perhaps surprisingly stayed put this summer.
Ismaila Sarr – Linked with Liverpool by the Evening Standard, Watford winger Ismaila Sarr is undoubtedly a top young talent who could have been a decent alternative to Diogo Jota. Once Jota was signed, however, we imagine Liverpool’s interest in Sarr cooled and there isn’t an obvious reason for them to regret missing out here. The Senegalese youngster is clearly a big talent, but LFC may well feel they got the better player overall.
Ousmane Dembele – Supposedly targeted by Liverpool at some point in the summer, according to Sport, most fans will perhaps feel this was a bullet dodged. Ousmane Dembele has huge potential, but he seems to be throwing his career away after a major dip in form in his time at Barcelona. While Klopp could be the man to get him back on track, there’s no guarantee it would work out.
Ozan Kabak – This might be one Liverpool got wrong, with Ozan Kabak a top young centre-back who could’ve come in without needing to play regularly straight away, giving Klopp another option as a replacement for the departing Lovren. See below as Chris Williams claimed the Reds had been in touch with Schalke about a deal, though clearly this never materialised. If the 20-year-old goes on to fulfil his potential, he might be worth looking at again in the future, though Liverpool will have to hope no one else snaps him up first.
Schalke sources confirm Liverpool have contacted them about Ozan Kabak. Official line – squad is settled & not for disruption now season is underway. Privately told an offer around €25m could force a rethink.
— Chris Williams (@Chris78Williams) September 18, 2020