Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Spurs, Paris Saint Germain, even Arsenal; all teams are spending big, preparing for the new season. But who’s missing from this picture?
Liverpool signed Ibrahima Konaté from RB Leipzig for £36m earlier this summer, a very good signing to reinforce there defensive options after an unprecedented injury-hit season last year. However, this is it. They’ve lost Gini Wijnaldum and already struggle with depth in their attack, something which was evident in the 1-1 draw against ten-man Chelsea.
So, where, if at all, should ‘the reds’ look to should they wish to enter the transfer market?
One player they should be looking at is Yves Bissouma. The newly-turned 25-year-old is a destructive machine, currently playing for Brighton and putting in big shifts in every game he plays. A brilliant ball winner, he would be the perfect understudy to Henderson on the right, covering for Trent Alexander-Arnold as he roams forward. He could also fill in for Fabinho in the six.
He’d be a very smart signing and with an estimated cost around the £40 million mark, he shouldn’t break the bank. The Malian international has gathered interest from City, Arsenal, United and Liverpool and it feels like only a matter of time before someone pulls the trigger.
Injuries happen and Liverpool have a strong front four in Sadio Mané, Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota. The backups – Divock Origi and Taki Minamino. If one, or some, of the front four get injured, the cover isn’t spectacular. The fact neither of the mentioned depth played a part when Liverpool were pushing for a goal against Chelsea says it all.
And that’s before you throw the African Cup of Nations into the equation. In January, Mané and Salah will be joining up with their respective nations on international duty, leaving Liverpool incredibly short on attacking firepower. Not good enough, certainly not for a club with title aspirations.
The perfect fit for Liverpool would be Raphinha from Leeds United. He wouldn’t come cheap, but he’d come with potential, Premier League experience, quality and plenty of flair. He could start, he could be a sub, and, crucially, for January he could be a key man. He’s also got a mean left foot and has proven so with some spectacular goals that even Salah would be proud of.
Could incomings like Bissouma and Raphinha be the key to a Liverpool title charge, in the face of clubs like Chelsea and City who have strengthened readily this summer?
Ultimately, time will tell if Liverpool will step up and perform business in the market – they haven’t got much time left, though. This could be the difference in winning another Premier League title, or finishing empty handed for the second season running.