Liverpool have started pre-season pretty convincingly this season, overcoming lower league opposition with relative ease on two occasions.
Whilst this isn’t the biggest indicator your team is destined for success in upcoming domestic fixtures, it always gives supporters a good chance to assess the whole of the squad, and some of the youngsters who are often roped in for a taste of pre-season action.
Whether or not you believe Liverpool’s five-star showing at Fleetwood Town was just a result of them having a better squad than their lower league opposition is fair game, but credit Klopp- he lined up effectively against a side that have been solid for the past few seasons now.
With Leicester City winning the Premier League, the game has changed and managers, players and fans should be realising that anything can happen on the pitch, if the team put their collective minds to it.
Liverpool have got some truly excellent players in that starting lineup- from Firmino to Coutinho to Mane, they do have quality littered all over the pitch. Jurgen Klopp has had his first summer pre-season and his first chance to stamp his own personality on a squad that he can well and truly craft with his future plans in mind.
The signings of Sadio Mane, Loris Karius and Joel Matip are all solid signings and are obviously players Klopp thinks can add real quality and depth to his Liverpool team. He also has the chance to relieve the squad of the deadwood that has been festering in the reserves over the managerial changes. The likes of Luis Alberto, Mario Balotelli and Iago Aspas- all of whom don’t have immediate futures at the club.
But with all that in mind, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Liverpool’s summer activity could be easily trumped by plenty of their rivals.
It’s clear by looking on social media and talking to Reds fans that they want a big name signing. They want to be able to drape a “Welcome to Liverpool” banner at John Lennon airport, just as Manchester United did when Carlos Tevez joined the club.
Whilst Karius, Matip and Mane are all solid, they’re not superstars. They’re not Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhtaryan- both of whom have signed for rivals United this summer. That might be the difference as the season gets under way.
But again, that’s not always how it pans out. Little was known about N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater before the start of next season and those three have quickly been able to prove just how good they are in a short space of time. It really is a case of optimism and counting down the days to the first Premier League weekend.
As for Reds fans, there’s time for a lot of reflection already – which seems odd seeing as the season is yet to start. They will be keeping a very close eye indeed.