Premier League matchday 1 ended in a 3-0 win for Liverpool as they opened the campaign on the right foot.
Overlooked in the offseason as title contenders for spending a mere £36 million on defender Ibrahima Konate, Jurgen Klopp showed once more that the Reds cannot be written off in spite of a lack of transfer incomings.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 16, 2021
While Chelsea and Manchester City have spent in the region of £100m and Manchester United have added Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane on staggered payment deals, Liverpool have spent much of the summer signing key players to long-term contracts.
Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, and Alisson Becker all signed new deals to keep them at Anfield. Captain Jordan Henderson is next up with a deal possibly announced this week.
Rather than seek new players, Liverpool have rewarded the stars that brought a Champions League trophy in 2019 and a Premier League title a season later. Yet, fans and media have continued to cry out for new signings.
Modern football lives in a FIFA video game world in which big-money transfer signings are desired every time the transfer window opens. A new signing doesn’t mean that the team will improve, just look at the mess at Arsenal or Barcelona over the last few seasons.
Liverpool have been smart with their money in a time in which teams do not have much to spend in Europe. How bad is the financial situation outside of Paris and Manchester?
Lyon are attempting to sell Max Cornet to Burnley for £30m, so they can sign Xherdan Shaqiri from Liverpool for less than £20m. If you are relying on a club like Burnley to fund your summer transfer spending, you are in trouble.
A few things were evident from Liverpool’s win against Norwich City on Saturday. For one, Liverpool’s front three looks rested and ready to go. Mohamed Salah tallied two assists and a goal while Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – a second half sub – got on the scoresheet.
Additionally, Klopp didn’t start his best midfield trio. James Milner, Naby Keita, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got the nod while Fabinho watched on. Thiago nor Jordan Henderson made the bench.
Henderson did play in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Sunday at Anfield against Aston Villa. It is said that Henderson looked brilliant. Expect him to start with Fabinho against Burnley on Saturday.
Although Klopp was forced to start Kosta Tsimikas at left-back after Andy Robertson suffered an ankle ligament injury in preseason, he had the luxury of playing Champions League winning duo Joel Matip and Van Dijk together.
The duo played around 11 minutes together last season before Van Dijk’s knee injury and Matip needed surgery to repair a dodgy ankle. With Van Dijk, Matip, and Joe Gomez now fit and Konate at the club, Liverpool’s defence will be better than last season.
Add in that the players are rested with many not playing over the summer, and Klopp has a fresh squad, something that hasn’t happened in a few seasons.
Yes, Liverpool could use another forward, but with Harvey Elliott ready to play regular first-team minutes, there is no reason to delve into the transfer market when “homegrown” players are ready to play. Curtis Jones is one player that will get even more playing time with Georgino Wijnaldum gone.
Liverpool have been written off by many due to their transfer activity. Yet, this is a team that can fight for the title all the way through the season.