This article assesses the greatest threats to Liverpool’s 21/22 bid to reclaim the Premier League title following their failure to defend their title from Man City.
The Reds won the league title last year for the first time in 30 years, finally putting an end to the ceaseless banter from rival fans.
Manchester United fans were particularly quick to point out the Merseysiders’ shortcomings as they romped to countless major honours under Sir Alex Ferguson while the likes of Rafa Benitez and Gerard Houllier were unable to bring a league title home.
Of course, as Old Trafford enters the ninth year running without a league title, those same fans are very quiet and have been even more silent since losing to Villarreal in the Europa League final thanks to an awful penalty shootout showing from the once world-class David De Gea.
The Spaniard’s future at United is in doubt and with Solskjaer in need of a world-class no.1, there have been links to AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma but the Italian is now closing in on a move to PSG.
The Parisians are not messing about this summer and have already snapped up Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum after gazumping Barcelona with a massive wage offer and are now close to offering a similarly huge salary to Donnarumma.
According to reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano, the 22-year-old will earn €60million net over five years which equates to €12million a year and roughly €230,000 each week.
Jurgen Klopp will be secretly relieved as there aren’t many world-class goalkeepers that are available which will mean Solskjaer will either need to persist with David De Gea or put his faith in Dean Henderson.
Manchester United finished five points above Liverpool but it could have been more had they not somehow conceded more goals than a side that was forced to field 20 centre-back pairings due to a hitherto unseen defensive crisis.
They could sign Jadon Sancho this summer, however, and a player with his talent could make Ole forget about the need to improve at the back as he is capable of improving United’s already fantastic attack.
Above United was Pep Guardiola’s unbelievable side. The Spaniard won the Premier League with Manchester City for the third time despite an awful start to the campaign, with injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez giving them an unexpected window for redemption.
Nine games into the season, Liverpool were joint top of the table on 20 points with Jose Mourinho’s Spurs ahead of them only due to goal difference but shockingly, with City struggling massively for goals, with just 10 scored, Pep’s side was sat in 13th.
They were eight points behind the Reds but come the end of the season, Liverpool were 17 points behind them – a point swing of 25 points in 29 games as Jurgen Klopp struggled to cope without any senior centre-backs.
This summer, City will be looking for answers to their attacking crisis without having to turn to the likes of Ilkay Gundogan to contribute 17 goals from midfield in all competitions.
The Daily Mail has claimed that the Cityzens want to sign Jack Grealish and Harry Kane for a combined £250million this summer and while it’s hard to believe they would spend that much on two players, investment into at least two attackers is likely.
Chelsea are another side that Liverpool will be very wary of heading into the new season after they beat Man City in the final of the Champions League just months after Thomas Tuchel took over from Frank Lampard.
The German manager is reportedly pushing to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund and if that move goes through, Jurgen Klopp won’t be the only manager in Europe with concerns over his chances of success.
Jan Aage Fjortoft claims that Chelsea are working ‘intensely’ to sign who “is seen as the ‘missing’ player to make them challenge for the PL title next season.”
With 41 goals and 12 assists in all competitions this season, the Norwegian is terrifying to play against and in a Chelsea side already so good at counter-attacking, the Blues could be a shoo-in to beat Liverpool, United and City to the title.
Liverpool have signed Ibrahima Konate while Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip will all be returning from injury by the start of the season so Jurgen Klopp won’t need to stress too much about a lack of centre-halves.
They are also in the market for a new forward, with Patson Daka, Raphinha and Dusan Vlahovic all linked with the Reds but it remains to be seen who will actually join as the latter two have massive asking prices that could make getting a deal over the line tougher than necessary.
As mentioned before, PSG have sealed a move for Wijnaldum and so Klopp will look to sign a new midfielder and Youri Tielemans has been heavily linked but signing him will also require major investment.
The 2021/22 Premier League season might be the most fiercely fought title race we’ve seen for a long time and whoever comes out on top will need to be world-class the entire season.