Liverpool are set to enjoy a period of domestic dominance – but pundit Joe Cole can foresee two major issues for Jurgen Klopp to solve in the transfer market this summer.
The Reds defeated Bournemouth 2-1 at Anfield on Saturday to move within a maximum of three wins of securing the Premier League title – the first time they have become champions of England since 1990.
The Reds have done so by keeping their powder relatively dry over the past two transfer windows, with the club yet to spend more than £7.5million on any single player since they paid Roma £65m for goalkeeper Alisson Becker in July 2018.
As a result, and together with a blockbusting new kit deal, Liverpool are expected to have significant funds to spend this summer, with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Kylian Mbappe linked with big-money moves.
However, a more realistic target for Liverpool is RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who has been linked with a €60m switch to Merseyside, while Klopp has also been tipped to come back in former midfielder Philippe Coutinho – if the price is right.
However, before he can consider moves for the big-name stars, BT Sport pundit Joe Cole claims Klopp must first ensure star names such as Alisson, defender Virgil van Dijk and forwards Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are not lured away. Should any of them leave, you can be sure the Bet365 bonus guide with BetEnemy will be predicting the Reds struggle considerably more than they have done this season.
“Sometimes when you have massive success it brings its own problems. You now have the best goalie in the world, the best centre-half in the world and three or four of the best players in the world,” Cole said.
“They are going to want to be paid the best in the world. They will look at their counterparts in Madrid and Barcelona and be thinking I want those wages.
“I don’t know what their wage bill is at the moment but if they want to keep going they need to keep these players. ‘Sometimes a player like Salah might have his head turned and always dreamed of playing for a Real Madrid or Barcelona.
“It’s now about keeping the group together, keeping the manager together, keeping the momentum. Have they got the finances to do that? I’m sure they have because they are a well-run club. If they keep them together I’m sure it will be a period of dominance.”
Klopp ‘needs to ensure squad strength remains intact’
Liverpool have not just relied on their world-class stars to produce an amazing run of results in the Premier League that has seen them beaten just once, with the likes of James Milner, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi all playing their parts when required this season.
And Cole also believes keeping quality squad options in the mix will be vital for the Reds going forwards, especially when the ageing Milner eventually calls it quits and with Lallana expected to move on this summer.
“Where they might come unstuck a little bit is replacing players like Milner and Lallana,” Cole added. “Good players who come in and do a fantastic job when they’re called upon.
“They’re good round the dressing room, keep that Liverpool way about them. Sooner or later they will want to move and play regularly.
“Origi? Where are you going to find a player who sits on the bench and comes in for those moments? Those players are tricky to replace. Do you go for young players who are maybe not mature enough for it, or veterans? These are the problems you have when you are successful.”