Liverpool are getting closer. A maiden Premier League crown continues to elude the 18-time English champions but 2018/19 could finally be their time to end that hoodoo.
Jurgen Klopp has taken Liverpool to three finals since arriving at Anfield and, despite losing in all three showpiece fixtures, most fans believe that the Reds are heading in the right direction.
And with the right investment this summer, Liverpool could be about to finally get back to the summit of English football for the first time since 1990. But despite all of Liverpool’s potential, the salient fact is this: Klopp’s side finished 25 points behind Manchester City this season.
The Reds were primed to finish as ‘best of the rest’ but fell short in the closing stages – preparation for the Champions League final understandably took centre stage. Liverpool went on to lose 3-1 to Real Madrid in the European showpiece but that run showed just how far Klopp’s men have come.
The Reds have shown enough quality in recent months to justify a title charge. The 2017/18 Manchester City side will go down in history as one of the greatest in Premier League history but Klopp’s men won three of their four meetings with the Blues in all competitions.
Fans will be hoping that consistency and reliability follows suit; Liverpool are improving in that regard though – there is no doubt about it. Liverpool have already made moves in the transfer market ahead of the 2018/19 campaign; Naby Keita and highly-rated Brazilian Fabinho will both line-up at Anfield in August.
Klopp is building a monster and supporters will be expecting silverware. 5/1 for Premier League glory is a decent price – a deeper squad will allow Liverpool to focus on fighting on multiple fronts rather than focusing on one competition.
If Mo Salah can maintain this season’s form, Liverpool will be in business. The Egypt star is still in with a chance of claiming the Ballon d’Or and another 30-goal campaign will boost his chances of glory – both individually and with the Reds.
Expecting the same return would be unwise; Salah had a record-breaking year and his form may tail off if he fails to recover from that shoulder injury suffered in the Champions League final.
Putting that kind of pressure on one player is unfair and Klopp knows it. Liverpool have been making strides to close the gap at the top of the Premier League table and the Reds are now on the verge of domestic glory.
There are still doubts, highlighted in the Champions League final, over the goalkeeper position but Liverpool are relatively solid in most other areas of the field. Enhancing squad depth is the main task now.
Pep Guardiola’s side will head into 2018/19 as red-hot favourites and with good reason. City were some way clear of their domestic rivals this campaign and were deserved champions – but they won’t have everything their own way next year.
Liverpool have opted to get their transfer activity done early and Jurgen Klopp’s side can reap rewards from that. The Reds will be relentless in their pursuit of Premier League success next season and might even pip City to the crown if the Blues fail to emulate their 2017/18 efforts.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*