Liverpool were comfortable champions of the Premier League last season, even if they were unable to break the records that looked set to do earlier on in the campaign. Finishing with 98 and 99 points over two consecutive seasons shows just how consistent the Reds have been, and it will be difficult to build on this success. However, standing still means being left behind in the Premier League, and after a summer where there were no first-team outfield arrivals at Anfield, this transfer window will need to be different.
Liverpool have moved quickly to sign left-back Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiakos as back-up for Andy Robertson, filling what was a very obvious hole in the squad. The Scot has been an ever-present for Jurgen Klopp over the past two seasons, with veteran midfielder James Milner filling in for him when required, but a more permanent solution was needed, especially to provide Robertson with a rest here and there. The Tsimikas deal also shows the willingness of the management at Liverpool to change tack and move on from their top targets if they do not provide value. Jamal Lewis at relegated Norwich was the first-choice option, but Norwich’s demands were too high for Liverpool, and so instead of spending the window haggling with the club to bring down the price, they swiftly moved on to the next player on their list. There are many clubs who would do well to follow this approach, as it gives the player enough time to arrive and acclimatize at a new club, and in this case, a new country, while it also allows the management to move on and focus on other transfer needs. However, this transfer needs to be the start of some sustained investment in the playing squad at Anfield.
Of course, this Liverpool side is just hitting its peak, and so there is no need for wholesale changes just yet. However, the core of the side is all in their late twenties, and so there will soon be a need for regeneration. It is better if this is done in a staggered way if the squad is to avoid growing old all at the same time. The difficulty for Liverpool is in bringing in top-quality players who would be content to sit on the bench. That was the main reason why the club pulled out of the race to sign Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, with the German forward joining Chelsea instead. Klopp felt that he would not be able to guarantee him starts ahead of the famous front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, and so the signing would be too expensive for a player to come and sit on the bench. Nevertheless, if Liverpool want to be the favourites for the league on betting sites in Nigeria and elsewhere, they will need to bring in more quality. A move for Thiago Alcantara of Bayern Munich therefore makes sense – he is a world-class player who will instantly improve the side, and provide some competition to the existing midfielders at the club.