Following the heartache of missing out on the Premier League by a point once more, and just falling short to Real Madrid in the Champions League final, Liverpool have shaken themselves off and are ready to go again.
The morning after a forgettable night in Paris, a sea of Red flooded the streets of Liverpool to welcome home their heroes, who may have fallen short in their aims of an unprecedented quadruple, but a domestic double would still be cause for celebration.
The perfect reinvigoration and the perfect response. Injecting another season’s worth of motivation into a group of players and coaching staff who will target the club game’s biggest prizes.
A busy transfer window
There was plenty of action on the transfer front at Liverpool this summer as the Reds have a change of personnel in the attack as the new season beckons.
This summer saw Sadio Mane’s time at Liverpool come to an end as he bows out of Liverpool following his wish to embark on a new journey be granted.
The Reds were prepared for Mane’s departure as they agreed a deal with Benfica to sign highly-rated forward Darwin Nunez for an initial £64m that could rise to a club record £85m.
The Uruguayan has already made a strong start to life at Liverpool as he was influential in the Reds’ victory over City last weekend.
Nunez won a penalty that was resultantly scored by Mohammed Salah and also grabbed a goal himself as he nodded the ball past Ederson from close range.
Arguably the biggest news this summer is the contract extension of Salah. Liverpool’s talisman has become the highest-paid player in the club’s history as he signed a deal worth more than £350,000 a week, that runs until the summer of 2025.
After agreeing to extend his stay on Merseyside earlier this year until 2026, Klopp will have his eyes set solely on bringing more of the biggest prizes to Anfield – and it’s safe to say all doubters from previous years are certainly now believers.
Near misses and misfortune have been present over the last six years but to be battling neck and neck with an incredible City side with who have set the bar immensely high; that is an achievement within itself.
Another enthralling race seems to be on the cards between two juggernauts of English Football.
What is Liverpool’s strongest XI?
GK – Alisson
Despite the immense heroics of Caoimhin Kelleher in recent cup runs, it’s no debate that Alisson is Liverpool’s number one. A strong case for the best goalkeeper on the planet as he has been an integral part of a fantastic Liverpool side.
Not a single player in World Football would take this spot off Trent. Liverpool’s academy graduate has moulded himself into arguably the best right back in the world. His passing ability is up there with the best and you’d be silly to bet against him smashing assist records in years to come.
CB’s – Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip/Ibrahima Konate
Virgil van Dijk is another that is in the team when he is fit. The best centre back in the world and to come back from a season-long injury and play how he did last season highlights the level he is at.
As for his centre back, it’s completely personal preference. I don’t think there is anything that splits Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate. Matip has been a revelation following his free transfer from Schalke at the start of Klopp’s reign. It comes with no doubt that Konate will be a regular starter in years to come, and has all the attributes to be up there with the world's best.
LB – Andrew Robertson
It’s not very often you would turn to your full backs when you’re in need for a goal. Having the ability to run up and down for 90 mins and put crosses on a sixpence for the forwards to score is very rare to find in a full back. But Liverpool have found two, as Kostas Tsimikas has proven his quality when he puts on a red shirt also, this direct competition has enhanced the developments of both left backs. It almost seems laughable that Liverpool signed Robertson for just £8m.
Holding Midfielder – Fabinho
The Brazilian isn’t known as 'the hoover' for nothing. His ability to sense danger and cover for players to prevent any sort of attack has made Fabinho an invaluable asset to this side. He instils confidence in his fellow midfielders and the full backs to push forward knowing there is always protection behind them.
CM – Jordan Henderson
Another player where invaluable comes to mind. What a servant he has been. His ability to lead a team is unmatched and sometimes overshadows his incredible footballing ability. His partnership with Alexander-Arnold and Salah has been incredible to watch.
CM – Thiago
Many doubted he’d be able to play in Jurgen Klopp’s system when Liverpool signed him two years ago. But Thiago has shown a new side to his game, his work rate and ability to win the ball high up the field is a testament to Klopp’s player management. Thiago’s ability to dictate a game has become more apparent as he grew into this Liverpool side.
RW – Mo Salah
Guaranteed goals, right? And three more years of it. Salah is on course to go down as one of the greatest players in the club’s history. Not much more really has to be said.
ST – Darwin Nunez
He will be a different figure upfront compared to what Liverpool had and already have but his aerial threat combined with his athleticism is going to be a real threat for any defender. His movement will prove to be very effective in this Liverpool side.
LW – Luis Diaz
What a signing this lad has been. Heavy metal football destilled in a man. He has ran defenders ragged since his arrival, and when he adds a few more goals and assists to his name, he’s going to be a huge part of this team moving forward.
Three talking points
Are Liverpool lacking in midfield?
When you look at the squad, it’s clear that if anything is going to be Liverpool’s Achilles heel, it will be their midfield. It comes with no question that there is quality there, but a few injuries may be an issue. A midfielder seems like a priority for next summer, suggesting Klopp has faith in his midfield and believes Carvalho and Harvey Elliot can drop in if needed.
Where will Liverpool finish in the league?
Despite clubs around them strengthening, Liverpool and Manchester City still seemed to be a class above the rest. A neck and neck race to the title seems likely once more with both clubs bringing in world-class appointments in response to world-class players departing. It’s going to be another race to the line, but this year may see the World Cup play a huge factor.
Will Darwin Nunez be a success?
Nunez has all the qualities to be a sensation in a Liverpool shirt and has the quality service around him to help him achieve just that. From brief cameos in the preseason, and a terrific display against City last weekend, it’s evident his movement is going to be a real threat. He looks to have settled into life already, and if this is just the start, I can only see Nunez improving from here.