Having missed out on being crowned league champions by the skin of their teeth due to that now infamous turning point draw against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park last season, Liverpool have wasted no time in accepting their fate and looking ahead to the new campaign with an even more passionate sense of purpose. With their star man Luis Suarez finding himself facing yet another ban for familiar reasons following his biting of Italian defender Chiellini at the World Cup, club manager Brendan Rodgers has shown real drive in promptly selling the player for a cool £75m to Spanish giants Barcelona to kick off a squad restructuring revolution.
Ten players of various mettle have been brought into the squad for a combined outlay of over 100 million pounds in a move that was initially seen as quick-fire padding akin to what Tottenham had done when Gareth Bale had departed. However, the influx at Anfield certainly seems to be steeped in far greater footballing logic.
Firstly, four of the signings have been of players that have considerable premier league experience. In the Southampton trio of defender Dejan Lovren, midfielder Adam Lallana and forward Rickie Lambert, Rodgers has brought in what could best be described as the spine of the Southampton side that impressed out of the blue last season. The fact that Lallana and Lambert played and gelled with the likes of Sturridge, Sterling and Gerrard in the World Cup this year additionally justifies their inclusion in a solid Liverpool squad.
They are of course joined by the ever controversial but equally loveable Mario Balotelli, who not too long ago plied his trade with current champions Manchester City and has already had a taste of premier league glory. All four of these signings are a clear indication of Rodgers plan to seize the premiership albeit in a rather risk averse fashion.
The reliance on foreign players who often need time to adjust to life not only on English pitches but in English cities has been limited to the signings of Javi Manquillo, Alberto Moreno, Emre Can and Lazar Markovic, all of whom were brought in as squad rotation options, although Manquillo and Moreno have seen first team football due to injury plights in the Liverpool defense from the get go.
However, though they may take time to settle into the premiership, the fact that they hail from the likes of Bayer Leverkusen, Atletico Madrid, Benfica and Sevilla – all clubs that have participated actively in European football over the past few years – means they bring with them some very useful experience that should help out the Reds’ European hopes this season.
With the additions of the new players to the existing squad that fought so valiantly but stumbled right at the last hurdle in the previous season, Liverpool now have within their ranks 3 left back options, 3 right back options, 4 centre back options, 11 midfielders of varying pace, strength, vision, flair and technical abilities, and 4 striker options in Sturridge, Lambert, Balotelli and Borini, all of whom have goals within them.
It is safe to say and clear to see that the ambitions of Rodgers and indeed of Liverpool and the Anfield faithful are sky high to say the least.