Have Liverpool done enough to replace Arsenal as City’s main challengers again?

By on August 9, 2023

jurgen klopp liverpool

After narrowly missing out on winning the Premier League title to Manchester City in the 2021/22 campaign, it was thought that Liverpool would bounce back immediately last season like they did a few years ago.

Their brilliant performance in the Community Shield reflected those signs and everyone was hoping to experience yet another close title race between the Merseyside club and the Citizens last term.

However, Jurgen Klopp’s side failed to live up to those expectations and endured a dire season, finishing fifth in the league and as a consequence of that, they missed out on qualifying for the Champions League for the first time under Klopp.

Surprisingly Arsenal took over Liverpool’s role in competing with Man City for the league title and they fought all the way before failing short during the business end.

Liverpool have identified their ageing midfield as the main issue behind their downfall last season. So, they have opted to revamp the middle of the park in this transfer window to regain their lost perch immediately and challenge on all fronts once again from next term.

Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner were allowed to leave for free following the expiration of their contracts. And as replacements Liverpool have decided to sign Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai for a combined £95m fee.

However, Liverpool have been forced to change their summer plan after Jordan Henderson and Fabinho decided to move to Saudi Arabia ahead of next season to take a new challenge in their career.

Potential options

Several players have been mentioned as potential targets for the Reds to strengthen their engine room. Manu Kone, Khephren Thuram, Moises Caicedo, Gabriel Veiga and Federico Valverde have all been linked with a move to Anfield over the last few weeks.

But, Klopp’s side haven’t made a concrete approach to sign any of them, rather it seems they are keen on signing Romeo Lavia from Southampton before the end of this transfer window.

Romeo Lavia close

Liverpool have already submitted three official proposals worth up to £45m to acquire the Belgian’s services. But, Southampton have rejected all offers as they aren’t willing to sell their star man for anything less than £50m.

The Merseyside club reportedly remain in contact with the Saints to sign the midfielder. It has been suggested that Klopp’s side are close to brokering a deal for the highly talented youngster and a deal is expected to go through in this transfer window.

How many midfield signings?

It initially looked like Klopp wanted to sign three midfielders in this transfer window. But, following the departure of Fabinho and Henderson, it was thought that Liverpool could look to purchase another option to replace the duo.

However, Liverpool have so far managed to sign only two midfielders and are currently working to sign another one. With only less than four weeks remaining in this transfer window, it looks tough for the Reds to sign four midfielders and achieve their plans this summer unless they act quickly.


Liverpool struggled with defensive frailties last term and it has previously been suggested that signing a new centre-back is on Klopp’s agenda in this summer. Several players have been mentioned as potential targets with Benjamin Pavard, Nayef Aguerd, Antonio Silva, Perr Schuurs and Goncalo Inácio being among them.

Levi Colwill and Micky van de Ven were also linked with a move to Anfield this summer. But, while the Dutchman has sealed a switch to Tottenham Hotspur from VfL Wolfsburg, Colwill has committed his long-term future with his boyhood club, Chelsea.

Liverpool haven’t made a concrete approach to sign any of the aforementioned players yet to reinforce their backline and it is going to be interesting to see whether things will change over the coming weeks.

Klopp’s side didn’t look solid enough during their pre-season encounters, conceding 11 goals in five matches. So, it is apparent that Liverpool need a new centre-back this summer.

Virgil van Dijk replacement

Virgil van Dijk has been the mainstay of Liverpool’s success since moving to Anfield back in 2018, helping his side in winning a Premier League title, Champions League trophy and several other cup competitions.

However, after recovering from a serious knee issue, the Dutchman hasn’t been able to perform at his best for Liverpool in recent times. In addition, he has already turned 32, so the Merseyside club have reportedly started to explore options in the market to sign a young defender as a long-term replacement for him.

But, following the departure of Henderson, Klopp has decided to give the responsibility of leading the team as club captain to Van Dijk. So, it seems the Dutchman’s current future at Anfield is safe but things might change over the coming months if he fails to showcase his best next season.

Other reports

Caoimhin Kelleher was linked with a move away during the early stages of this window as it was reported that the 24-year-old isn’t happy with his current role as he wants to play regular first-team football at this stage of his career.

However, a move hasn’t materialised yet and it is now looking likely that he could stay at Anfield for one more season at least. In the meantime, Liverpool have decided to keep Adrien in the squad by offering him a one-year extension.

Are Liverpool ready for next season?

Liverpool will be coming into this season – which is set to underway this Friday – off the back of a disappointing campaign. It was thought that the club’s hierarchy would act quickly this summer to provide Klopp with enough resources in order to help the German compete for the biggest honours next term.

However, as it stands, it doesn’t look like Liverpool have done enough business to be considered genuine title contenders. Their defensive issues haven’t been addressed yet and they currently look short in numbers in their midfield department.

But, the attack is the only area which is looking promising for Liverpool before Sunday’s opening Premier League encounter against Chelsea. Liverpool fans are still desperately trying to buy tickets for the game as it’s expected to be an exciting encounter at Stamford Bridge.

The Reds have already scored 18 goals in five pre-season games with Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez being the most stand-out performers. Luis Díaz, Coady Gakpo and Diogo Jota managed to put their names on the scoresheet as well. So, the attackers’ excellent form will give confidence to the Anfield faithful ahead of next season.

So, it is going to be interesting to see how many signings Liverpool will eventually manage to make between now and the end of this window and how they will perform in the upcoming campaign.