Hands up, be honest, who predicted Liverpool would come second last season? Who would’ve called them missing out on the title by virtue of a slip by the captain? I think even the most ardent Liverpool fan would’ve laughed at that thought! For many, Brendan Rodgers’ side were challenging for a Champions League spot at best; yet on Sunday 11th May, Liverpool would finish on 84 points, 2 behind winners Manchester City.
It was a season of great success and that is no better showed in the players being linked to the Anfield club. Whilst last season it Barcelona reserve Christian Tello, this year we find talk of world class wingers Alexis Sanchez and Pedro, The Metro report a deal for Sanchez is all but done whilst the Daily Mirror believe a phenomenal £80m plus Sanchez and Pedro deal is on the cards for now banned Luis Suarez.
Another player heavily linked to The Reds is Bayern Munich and Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri. The winger, who scored a fantastic hat-trick to take his country through to the World Cup Last 16 on Wednesday, is thought to be available for around £15m but they may face a fight with Arsenal for his services.
Tony Barrett of The Times reports Divock Origi, Lille striker and Belgium international could be lined up as a potential addition. Tottenham and Liverpool are both courting the 19 year old who would initially play a more secondary role behind Daniel Sturridge, new signing from Southampton Ricky Lambert and Luis Suarez (if he remains at the club).
At the back it’s no doubt Liverpool could do with some defensive reinforcements and it is believed that Southampton rock Dejan Lovren could be the man to join. After weeks of speculation it is unknown whether a deal is close but it is set to be hijacked by new Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, who hopes he can persuade the Croatian to follow him to White Hart Lane.
Finally, Federico Fazio, 27 year old Sevilla defender has also been under the gaze of Brendan Rodgers. He impressed in last season’s Europa League but Premier League interest is high and so Sevilla fight to raise his €10m buy-out cause before Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton or even Barcelona come knocking.
Liverpool’s sights are once again on fighting to win the league but it will be interesting to see how the Champions League effects them. They have strong English core, Gerrard and Henderson were mightily impressive last time out, Sterling has been likened to having world class potential and Sturridge can’t stop scoring. You know what? I think it may be best for them to cash in on Luis Suarez, they have the ability to now attract top, top replacements and seeing them back in Europe is something that is nothing less than deserved. Liverpool are back, what a difference a year makes!
By Gareth Thomas | June 26th, 2014