Liverpool may have lost Suarez but will they lose the Premier League title too?
We are only a day away from the kick-off of the most watched football league. Yes, I’m referring to none other than the Barclays Premier League, which returns to your screens for the 2014-2015 season. Unlike other football leagues, where the title race is mainly between two or three teams, this league has five to six teams competing for the title.
This summer transfer window has seen some of the biggest signings made by English clubs for their upcoming season. Some have been filling in the gaps left by departed players while others have been busy building up some real power talent.
We have witnessed the curtain raiser to the English season, the Community Shield match where last season’s champions, Manchester City, lost 3-0 to FA Cup winners, Arsenal, and are heading into the new season with fresh wounds. They face increasingly challenging competitions with clubs taking active part in the transfer window to build their teams. Speaking of potential title contenders, Chelsea made huge signings this summer and is looking to be at its best this season, Arsenal is optimistic about winning the league title and Manchester United is going through some serious restructuring under Louis Van Gaal and aim to bounce back to the top four ranking this season.
Liverpool is coming from its best season, finishing second in the league. Last season was the closest the club had come to winning their 19th league title since 1990. This has instilled great positivity and motivation for them to perform better this season. But the departure of Luis Suarez is surely a blow to the team as the striker had been the driving force behind the team’s indestructible form, scoring 31 goals in his last season.
This summer transfer window saw Pepe Reina leave Liverpool for Bayern Munich while Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas were loaned out. The £75m received from the sale of Suarez initiated a shopping spree for the club as they bought three Southampton players, Rickie Lambert (striker), Adam Lallana (attacking midfielder) and Dejan Lovren (defender). Moreover, Emre Can (midfielder) and Lazar Markovic (winger) were also added to the team and Divock Origi was signed but loaned out for a season.
The biggest challenge Liverpool has faced so far was replacing Suarez and have been unable to make a signing worthy of filling his shoes. The signing of the striker Lambert will be of great help as he performed brilliantly in his last season at Southampton. But what Liverpool requires is a star striker with the experience of playing at the highest level of football and being able to perform consistently. Reportedly, the club is eyeing Samuel Eto’o as a possible signing ever since he left Chelsea this summer. But will not be able to do so as per Liverpool’s transfer policy of bringing in young players with great potential. Hence, even if the 33-year-old came in, he won’t be around for long and would only be a temporary replacement for Suarez.
Alexis Sanchez was a possible option but he preferred to go to Arsenal. With the summer transfer window drawing close to its end, there is a dire need for Liverpool to act and fill the gaps within the team before they embark on this highly challenging new season.
Few weeks ago, the ‘Captain Fantastic’ Steven Gerrard hung up his boots for England to concentrate more on the years he has left for his career at Liverpool. This was a big decision for the former international captain because Liverpool requires his attention more than ever as they return to the UEFA Champions League after five years and need to regain their image as a European giant.
Liverpool has displayed amazing performances in their pre-season friendlies, reaching the International Champions Cup’s (ICC) final and demolishing Borussia Dortmund recently. They need to continue this form and take it all the way. Let’s hope they don’t slip this time around.
For their fans, it can’t get better than seeing Liverpool playing against the biggest clubs once more. And one should not forget that Anfield is known as the stadium with the most incredible environment on European nights.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.