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Liverpool are witnessing first-hand the dangers of a small squad. Just 14 players made more than 20 Premier League appearances last season and the starting eleven went off the hook.
However, a handful of defensive injuries have erased Liverpool’s chances of defending their Premier League title, while it will even be a battle to finish in the top four at this rate.
The loss of key starters has seen Liverpool struggle, but it’s a loss of confidence and concern over a lack of depth in other parts of the team that has caused a proper knockdown, the kind that Reds fans don’t. have seen from the beginning. weeks of the 2017/18 season.
It is undeniable that it shows that if Liverpool is to be a constant title threat in the way Manchester United was under Sir Alex Ferguson and as Manchester City is now, there has to be more depth and future proof. Long-term active should already be underway.
Staying successful is about improving the team quickly, sometimes even when it seems premature. A great team can only last two or three years before parts have to be replaced, whether they are players who advance or suffer from deterioration in form due to age or other factors.
Ferguson managed to transition smoothly from his first Manchester United great team to second from the early 1990s to the late 1990s because he was ruthless to his existing stars and had already polished the players he wanted to replace them with. But there was a remarkable transition period of around three or four years between the second and the third.
United had then properly planned for the next leg when Ferguson retired in 2013 and eight years later they are still embroiled in a much longer transition period that is still far from over.
For Liverpool, the time to change and improve is now. The fact that this season’s downfall has been significant and remarkable somehow shows that it is actually a bit late already.
Aside from a phenomenal assist in the recent loss to Leicester, Roberto Firmino is no longer the same player he was. Once the focal point that weaved in all the other aspects of Liverpool’s excellent attack, the Brazilian is no longer as effective.
Jurgen Klopp has defended Firmino this season, but the 29-year-old is the oldest of Liverpool’s three forwards and the first to be hit with a loss in a way that is more than an isolated problem.
Diogo Jota’s injury absence since early December has obviously not helped, given that he was supposed to be the player who could provide the necessary relief and competition. But Liverpool cannot simply rely on the hope that the injury situation will improve and that the players will regain the confidence and form that has been lost.
Klopp and the hierarchy must start thinking quickly about replacing certain individuals and time is ticking before Liverpool fall too far and they have to rebuild from scratch.
Erling Haaland is an obvious choice to put himself in Firmino’s shoes and lead Liverpool in a much needed new and fresh direction. The 20-year-old is already a world-class ‘number nine’ and could be at the top for a decade or more. What’s more, the time to do it would be now.
But talking about Haaland and Kylian Mbappé often seems unrealistically idealistic, especially as Liverpool are clearly not in a position to compete financially with wealthy clubs.
The Reds spent large amounts building this team over a couple of years, expenses that were only funded by the exceptional sale of a number of players well above their market value, including Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho and Dominic Solanke.
Haaland is available for a limited price of just under £ 70 million in 2022, however, with Manchester City and Chelsea fully prepared to go for it this summer, it would be naive to think that it would still be sitting there waiting for Liverpool to activate its release clause. the moment it is activated.
This shows how difficult it is to stay on top. Liverpool could pay a lot for Haaland this year, requiring big sales to raise money. Alternatively, they could go for untested leads that will cost a lot less, but it’s a gamble that hasn’t always paid off and will take time to materialize as they develop.Yes they even develop as expected.
There is no single correct answer, and although Haaland is close, it is never that easy.