The Graham Cummins column: Liverpool must make a few big signings to push on

The Graham Cummins column: Liverpool must make a few big signings to push on
Sadio Mane of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal against Crystal Palace recently. Picture: Phil Noble/Pool via Getty Images

IT’S quite difficult to improve on near perfection but that is the difficult task Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp now faces after guiding the club to its first league title in 30 years.

We all expected a tight title race this season, no one would have predicted Liverpool to win the league with seven games remaining and, in truth, they have being champions-elect since December but now that they are the champions, they are there to be shot at.

Next season will be strange for Liverpool. It’s been a long time since they went into a league campaign as champions.

It’s been said time and time again the sign of a great team is not just winning one title but winning several and that’s the pressure Liverpool will face. They were champions of Europe but failed this season in the Champions League and Klopp will be wary of his side suffering the same fate in the league next season.

In Klopp, Liverpool have one of the best managers in the world and, while he will have enjoyed the celebrations this week, he will have one eye on next season and how he is going to improve Liverpool.

Let’s not forget, for all Liverpool have achieved this season, they still only won one trophy.

Manchester City won a domestic treble last season and were they to win the Champions League this season then they will achieved more than Liverpool in the last two seasons.

The minimum Liverpool have to achieve next season is retaining the league title but for me, even that wouldn’t be deemed a successful campaign.

The difficult task Klopp has is finding the right players that will fit into the way he wants his team to play. Yes, they are better players at other clubs than Liverpool have in their squad but that doesn’t necessarily mean that getting those players would improve the Reds.

They won’t find a better goalkeeper and their back four is the best in the world, although talk of Kalidou Koulibaly joining the champions would be an improvement on Joe Gomez. However, signing the Napoli player would hinder Gomez’s development and if the English defender keeps developing the way he has been, I believe he will become a better defender than Virgil van Dijk in the next two seasons.

Jordon Henderson has had a magnificent season but he wouldn’t be in the top five midfielders in the world, yet, what he does in the Liverpool team would be hard for another player to replicate and improve on. The only player I could think that could replace and improve on Henderson is N’Golo Kante.

Though, Chelsea would see themselves as title contenders and would probably be unwilling to sell to a competitor, Blues boss Frank Lampard doesn’t seem to be a great admirer of Kante and might be willing to let the former Leicester City player vacant Stamford Bridge.

There could be an opening in the Liverpool midfield for a creative player. Georginio Wijnaldum is a player I admire but he’s no Kevin De Bruyne.

There is very little chance of the Reds prising the Belgian away from City but that is the calibre of player Liverpool need to be looking at.

Philippe Coutinho might have burnt his bridges with Liverpool the way he departed the club, and the Brazilian has been a failure since his transfer away from Anfield but like most players, some just find a club that they are suited to. 

Coutinho must be realising Liverpool were that club. He would be available for a lot less than Liverpool sold the Brazilian to Barcelona for and there’s no dying that Coutinho is a better player than Wijnaldum.

Roberto Firmino comes in for a lot of criticism for his goal return and some might suggest that a goalscoring centre-forward is what Liverpool need but take the Brazilian out of that side and the Reds become a completely different team.

Firminio isn’t the greatest goalscorer but he is an intelligent player and his cleverness allows both Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah to flourish and neither would be as effective without Firmino.

It might be tough to sign players to improve their starting 11 but Liverpool certainly need players to improve their squad.

We saw with the FA Cup and League Cup that Liverpool don’t have a squad capable of competing for every trophy.

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