Graham Cummins: Missing Champions League could hit Liverpool big time

Reds have been shopping in the bargain bin lately and it shows
Graham Cummins: Missing Champions League could hit Liverpool big time

Liverpool's Ozan Kabak and Newcastle United's Joelinton battle for the ball. The Pool need to recruit to contend again.

LIVERPOOL’S brief spell as champions should come to an end this weekend.

I think we can all agree that their title defence has been surprising, to say the least.

I wrongly predicted that Liverpool would retain their title, but no one could have envisioned just how badly it would go for Jurgen Klopp’s team this season.

It’s one thing not to put up a strong defence of your title but to miss out on the top-four, and the revenue playing in the Champions League generates, could have significant consequences for the club.

With five games remaining, Liverpool have already suffered nine defeats this season, that’s as much as they had in the previous three campaigns combined and the club is on course for their lowest points total since 2016 — when they finished eighth in the league with 60 points.

Liverpool will see this season as a one-off, and I would imagine their target next season will be to win the League.

The Reds need to invest in their squad to compete against Manchester City but I’m not sure they have the finances to sign the best players in the summer.

It might be a rebuilding job for the Reds, and they could have to sell players before they are able to bring any new faces in.

It could take more than one season for Liverpool to be seriously challenging for the league again. Liverpool are not financially stable enough to compete with City. The club recently reported a debt of €160m and failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League could cost the club up to €100m.

The club’s behaviour over the last year suggests a team that are in trouble.

They decided to put around 200 non-playing staff on furlough last year only to reverse their decision two days later and their transfer business in January, when the team were competing at the top of the table, showed that they couldn’t afford the calibre of player needed to maintain their challenge for the title.

Liverpool should have been looking at buying players like Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate but instead, they ended up signing Ozan Kabak — a player who was struggling in a Schalke team that will finish bottom in the Bundesliga this season — and Ben Davies, who is yet to feature for the club.

The signing of Davies was always a strange one. I never believed he was good enough for Liverpool and have been proven right so far.

The Reds initially paid Preston North End €575,000 for Davies, with the figure potentially rising to €2m. Those add-ons Liverpool would have to pay, seem unlikely considering that the 25-year-old is yet to feature with Liverpool, meaning individual targets cannot be met and with Liverpool struggling, add-ons that include the club’s success won’t be met either.

The signing appears to be one where Liverpool are trying to make a quick buck. The most that they could demand for Davies is around €4m. For a club of Liverpool’s stature €4m is not a lot of money and shows that every penny counts at Anfield at the moment.

Talk of Kylian Mbappe signing for Liverpool is laughable when you consider the fee it would take to convince Paris Saint-Germain to let their prized asset go and the wages that the superstar would demand.

Paris Saint Germain's Kylian Mbappe.
Paris Saint Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe is one of the best players in the world and the top players want to play in the Champions League, I don’t see any legitimate reason why he would choose to go to Liverpool over clubs like City or Real

Liverpool will be on the lookout for bargains this summer.

Sergio Aguero will be available on a free transfer in two months and although he would be a great signing for the Reds, I don’t think he would do anything that would damage his legendary status with City.

As much as he would want to prove a point to Pep Guardiola that the City boss was wrong not to offer him a new contract, at 32, it’s more important for a player, who has won so many honours in the game, to maintain his relationship with the fans of the club he has played with for most of his career rather upset that
relationship to prove his old manager wrong.

Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin or Celtic’s Odsonne Edouardo, are players that might not cost much but that potentially Klopp could turn them into world-class players like he has done with Sadio Mane.

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