Liverpool knew a big reset was coming this summer, whether or not Jürgen Klopp’s side squeezed into the Champions League places – in the end the Reds finished fifth.
With several players, including James Milner, coming out of contract and moving on, there would always be a change of playing staff, giving Klopp the chance to freshen up and bring in new ideas and younger legs.
Alexis Mac Allister represented an excellent start to the summer transfer window for Liverpool, joining from Brighton. The second signing, Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig, was also confirmed this weekend.
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Liverpool clearly underperformed last season, but there’s no reason to believe the Reds can’t improve dramatically with players of this caliber.
Sure, Liverpool have spent less than some of their Premier League rivals – and plenty more deals will be made across the division before the new season kicks off – but the quality added so far is significant.
With every player fit and performing as expected, Liverpool already have a better squad than at least two of the teams that finished for The Reds last time.
Newcastle United will continue to spend heavily, having added Sandro Tonali this week for a fee of $76m (£61m/€70m), the same amount that Liverpool splashed out on Szoboszlai.
But Newcastle was also in for the Hungarian, according to Sky Sports. However, the player wanted to sign for Liverpool and so the Magpies left the race to concentrate on other goals.
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With Szoboszlai gone, Newcastle are looking at another player Liverpool admires, Italian journalist Rudy Galletti reports, in 22-year-old Nice midfielder Khéphren Thuram, who has just been knocked out of the U21 European Championship with France.
It remains to be seen whether or not Liverpool sign another midfielder or even if they do whether Thuram would be the right profile with Mac Allister and Szoboszlai capable of filling the more advanced attacking midfield roles.
But if Liverpool beat Newcastle with that signing too – the player the Reds prefer over a move to the North East, when it comes down to it, is hardly unrealistic – it would further underline the point about where each club stands in the pecking order. .
Newcastle have Champions League football, but Liverpool have Klopp and are more established as a team that can compete at the top if every department works as intended. Both Mac Allister and Szoboszlai are proof of that as both have options other than a move to Anfield.
Liverpool can’t afford to be out of the Champions League for too long, that’s for sure, but they’ve more than earned the chance to miss out once without being detrimental. There was an argument that Liverpool’s side were actually better than Newcastle and Manchester United last season, even if it didn’t often show. Now that case has already been strengthened twice.
The summer activities so far suggest Liverpool can get back to where they want to be this summer – they have signed two excellent players to solve a problem area, and both players were convinced to choose the Reds over other moves.
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