I think as Liverpool supporters we tend to be scared to associate ourselves with the Premier League title, especially in recent years. There are times when we have come close, the 2013-14 season being the standout under Brendan Rodgers, but we have always seemed to lack what it takes in the Premier League era to claim the title.
This season though, I personally believe the Reds have never been better equipped to win the title during the Premier League era. With that being the case, I have put together five reasons why Jurgen Klopp’s men will be optimistic of their chances this season.
- Summer signings
There is no denying Liverpool have strengthened greatly in this summer transfer window. We all knew Naby Keita was coming, but now he is here, it is no surprise why Klopp was keen to secure his services last season before others came sniffing. He looks a player that is tailor-made for the way Klopp likes to play his football. It really is scary how good he is and how much better he will become. Anyone that can tackle, pass, dribble, create and score from the middle of the park is a valuable asset. He is the type of player that will be superb on the counter-attack, but just as handy when teams come and sit deep at Anfield.
Alisson is another obvious statement of intent from Liverpool this season. It would have been great to see Loris Karius go on and be the ‘keeper we all thought he would be, but the reality is that the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid has scarred him, and we saw that in the early parts of pre-season. With Alisson, yes we had to break a world-record transfer fee for a goalkeeper to gain his services, but we are getting someone who is one of the best in the business in his position. It will prove a shrewd buy going forward and could very well be the difference between winning a league title or not.
Fabinho is another that improves Liverpool’s starting team. Since the days of Javier Mascherano, the Reds have not had a proper No.6, but with the arrival of the Brazilian, that has now changed. He will be the type of player that will be dearly missed when not in the side, rather than the man driving Liverpool towards three points on a weekly basis. In other words, just because we spent big to get him, don’t expect him to be creating and scoring, that is not his job.
The last signing of the summer, Xherdan Shaqiri, has looked very bright in pre-season. Many believed he was brought in as depth and that is somewhat true, but don’t be all too surprised if he starts more than your first thought. That pass for Daniel Sturridge the other night against Torino was just a glimpse of his quality. Also, don’t forget his goal against Manchester United.
- The front three
A lot of Liverpool’s success last season came from the front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. The way they attacked opposition sides last season was a joy to watch, and that will very much be the case again this campaign.
If Salah can have a similar season to last, then the Reds will definitely go really close to claiming that maiden Premier League title.
There is no denying though that Firmino and Mane are just as important. The front three are just on the same wavelength, and with that, they bring the best out of each other.
- A defence that has vastly improved
Liverpool’s defence has often been criticised over the years, and rightly so, but since the arrival of Virgil van Dijk in January this year, everything has changed.
The way Liverpool play, they will concede goals, but van Dijk has no doubt improved every aspect of the defence.
He has simply given more confidence to those around him, and with the addition of Alisson, things will only get better for the Reds defensively.
The only real concern regarding the defence is the lack of depth. If the Dutchman were to get injured, then Liverpool’s title hopes could quickly fade, but let’s hope that does not happen.
For the first time in a long time, there is a serious belief not only within the playing group, but also with the supporters.
Momentum is a massive thing in football, and the club currently has that. Despite having no silverware to show for it, Liverpool have progressed every season under Klopp thus far.
Liverpool have found a way to get themselves back into the top four in consecutive campaigns, which has been a rarity in recent times. They have also managed to play in three cup finals, so the main thing to take from that is they are at least challenging.
Klopp’s men have that belief, now they need to go that extra step and claim some silverware, and the Premier League title isn’t out of reach despite how strong Manchester City are.
Liverpool are really the only team to give the Citizens a nightmare last season beating them in the league and in both legs of the Champions League quarter-final. Klopp’s men have every reason to believe they can topple the blue side of Manchester.
- The curse
No team has gone on and won back-to-back Premier League titles since Manchester United did in 2009, so that will no doubt be in the back of Manchester City’s mind.
Of course, it is still possible the Citizens could go on and win the league again. They are a fantastic side and have such incredible players from those who start to those who sit on the bench, but Liverpool will be well aware that most sides struggle to retain the title.
I am not becoming too confident, but if you aren’t optimistic about Liverpool this season, then perhaps you never will be.