Liverpool look like having a cautious summer this year. Doing so leaves them with no choice but to spend big next time around.
Liverpool completed their first transfer of the summer on Monday. Kostas Tsimikas joined the club from Olympiakos and it’s a move we saw coming.
Not Tsimikas specifically but a backup left-back always appeared to be on the cards. The Liverpool Echo, for instance, said in July that the Reds had ‘leeway’ to sign one player this summer – a backup left-back.
And that’s exactly what we’ve got. The other side to that is pretty clear too and it’s that we probably won’t see anymore summer signings at Liverpool.
The squad does feel relatively ‘complete’, after all, as Jurgen Klopp now has cover for every position. That’s something he’s never really had before.
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So Liverpool may do no more business. But if that is the case, they’re forcing themselves to go big next year.
Tying their hands
It isn’t so much that Liverpool having an ageing squad as much as it’s that they’re ageing together. A whole host of key players are all at relatively the same age.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will all be 29 in the next summer window. Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum will both be 30 before the end of the year. Virgil van Dijk just turned 29 and Joel Matip, too, will be 30 before 2021.
Liverpool don’t need to immediately replace all of them but they will likely have to within the next four years. And that’s a problem because they’re shrinking their window by not signing anyone this summer.
The easiest way to replace stars is, by far, to do it season-by-season. You don’t want to do it all at once.
Incrementally, Liverpool can bring in players to play with the current stars and allow a gradual turnover into the next generation. They can view players strengths and sign others that compliment them. You can’t do that in one window.
Liverpool didn’t sign any stars last year and they likely won’t this year, either. That leaves them with no choice but to spend big next summer if they want top players – and they might need a couple.
If they don’t and we see a third quiet summer in a row, they run the risk of two difficult positions. Either they have a squad filled with ageing players or a summer where they try to turn over the squad in one go. Neither would likely go well.