As Liverpool’s Premier League title charge continues, thoughts are naturally focused on what they could achieve this season.
The league already appears to be sewn up, with the Reds 19 points clear of second-placed Manchester City heading into Monday night’s clash against West Ham.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are also well in the mix for a potential historic treble, facing Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round, and trailing Atletico Madrid by one goal after the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
Despite approaching the business end of the season with everything to play for, the Liverpool boss was candid about his club’s potential summer plans. The German appeared to suggest that the Reds would enjoy another relatively low-key transfer window, akin to the one last year.
“Last summer, we did Sepp, Harvey and Adrian and people were not happy that we didn’t do any more than that because they think we need this and that here and there. We will see if we can make the right decisions again. It’s not that we are going mad about what is out there – we want the right player, we don’t just sign any.”
Klopp certainly has a sense of logic to his point. After all, despite not making a major marquee signing last year, the Reds are set to win the Premier League title at a canter, and could do so by going the entire campaign unbeaten. That in itself is a vindication of the Reds’ more reserved approach to the market, and so why on earth would the club think about fixing something that isn’t broke?
But ultimately, if (although more likely when), Liverpool do get their hands on the league trophy, the next campaign is always far more difficult. Retaining the title has been a difficult obstacle for many teams over the past couple of decades to overcome, with it only being done on eight occasions in the modern-day Premier League era.
Teams at the top simply cannot afford to stand still anymore, with rival clubs all putting a target on their back and aiming to cut them back down to size. Getting to the summit of the mountain is one thing, but staying there is another. And that is exactly why this summer is potentially a crucial one for Liverpool.
The Reds simply have to strengthen their squad, and get some major business done to help add to the quality, and also refresh things. Klopp’s suggestion that they perhaps won’t be looking to do that, raises a worrying concern about whether Liverpool would be able to retain their crown.
The likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City, amongst others, will all be desperate to stop the Merseyside outfit from clinching back-to-back titles. If Klopp ignores, or dismisses the need to keep moving forward, then he risks his team taking one major step backwards.