• Liverpool’s failure to strengthen will prove costly

    Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson is consoled by team-mate Roberto Firmino after picking up an injury during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

    Liverpool may have pushed Manchester City all the way in the 2018-19 Premier League season, but their failure to strengthen in the transfer market could sink their renewed challenge for league glory, writes DEAN WORKMAN.

    The Citizens and Liverpool produced one of the most enthralling title races last season, but ultimately it was the defending champions who made it back-to-back titles with a mammoth 98 points, just one point ahead of Jurgen Klopps’ team who accumulated 97.

    Liverpool did go on to win the Uefa Champions League, and although European glory was a sensational achievement it was not the trophy which they truly craved.

    The Reds last won the league in the 1989-90 season and with over 30 years of heartache last season seemed to offer their chance.

    Now heading into the 2019-20, season Klopp will have to pick up his charges and go again. Although they are expected to challenge for the league will they have the squad capable of competing on all fronts.

    Over the opening weekend former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was asked who he thinks will compete for the league and his answer may have shocked a few.

    The Portuguese manager insisted that the challengers would be City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City’s B team.

    When looking at the sheer depth in strength of the City side it’s clear why Mourinho decided to make this tongue-in-cheek statement.

    Despite the domestic treble, Pep Guardiola broke the bank bringing in defensive midfielder Rodri from Atletico Madrid to replace and aid the ageing Fernandinho, while they also signed exciting Portuguese right back Joao Cancelo from Juventus.

    Liverpool, on the other hand, brought in veteran goalkeeper Adrian as a replacement for the departed Simon Mingolet, while also signing youngsters Sepp Van den Berg and Harvey Elliot who aren’t expected to make an impact just yet.

    Klopp throughout the transfer window insisted that his side did not need to bring in new players but should key players at either end of the field, such as Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane and Virgil Van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold, pick up a serious injury he may just be regretting that decision.

    Last season one of Manchester City’s best and most influential players from the 2017-18 title winning campaign in Kevin De Bruyne missed the majority of the campaign through injury, but the Citizens didn’t miss him too much, did they?

    Similarly, one of City’s most exciting and dangerous forwards in Leroy Sane is expected to miss close to six months after partially tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the Community Shield game against Liverpool, but again City have more than enough cover to make do without the German.

    Already in the first game of the season the Reds suffered a big blow when influential goalkeeper Alisson was forced off in their opener against Norwich with a calf tear expected to sideline him for 6-8 weeks.

    With Klopp’s high-intensity style of play, he will be doing a dangerous balancing act with his player as he looks to balance the workload and avoid any serious injuries to key individuals which could be detrimental to their season.

    Sir Alex Ferguson firmly believed in strengthening while you are at the top in order to stay ahead of the the chasing pack. City have done that while Liverpool, on the other hand, could feel the impact of not doing so come the end of the season.

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