Liverpool supporters have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern in recent times after seeing their side begin 2018 in winning fashion by edging past resilient Burnley 2-1 at Turf Moor on New Year’s Day, thus consolidating fourth place in the Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash in Lancashire on Monday off the back of consecutive wins over Swansea City and Leicester City, results which took their impressive unbeaten league run to 12 matches. And the Reds were made to work for number 13 by the Clarets as Ragnar Klavan’s header in the fourth time of injury-time secured a narrow success for the Merseyside giants, who had moments earlier seen Johann Gudmundsson cancel out Sadio Mane’s wonderful first half opener to set Sean Dyche’s men on their way to a hard-earned point.
Nonetheless, there are many delighted Liverpudlians in the Tavern at present, several of whom are eagerly anticipating the New Year and what it may hold for their team, both domestically and in European competition.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Reds fans to get their teeth into, not least recent comments from club hero John Aldridge backing his former employers to make a ‘sneaky’ £40 million move for Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez this month.
The 29-year-old’s future has been subject of speculation for a while now given that his contract is up in the summer, and an extension looks increasingly unlikely to be agreed – Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have repeatedly been linked with the Chile international.
Yet Aldridge reckons that Liverpool should make a £40 million bid for the Gunners forward, and while there is no doubting how excellent an addition he would be to Klopp’s side, it’s not a move that would turn them into Premier League title contenders.
And that’s because, regardless of the quality Sanchez would certainly bring, there remains more pressing matters for Klopp to address before his team can challenge for the title.
As has been documented for a while, Liverpool as a unit do not defend well enough, while they are often guilty of making individual errors to further suggest that the personnel at Klopp’s disposal are lacking in the quality needed to match the Manchester City’s of this world.
Virgil van Dijk’s arrival will certainly go some way to addressing those concerns, but one man is unlikely to completely change the whole dynamic of that backline.
The goalkeeping ranks remain a clear area of concern – just look at the impact Ederson has had at City in between the sticks this term, his introduction ahead of Claudio Bravo has arguably made the biggest difference to Pep Guardiola’s side this season. Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius don’t have that impact.
The left-back department also remains a concern – Andrew Robertson is a fine defender and one who could go on to become a great one, but right now to be challenging for titles, it’s questionable whether he’s at that level. Alberto Moreno may have improved this term, but there remains a question mark over his consistency over the course of a season.
Yes, Sanchez could well get into City’s starting eleven, as could Mohamed Salah and possibly van Dijk, but other than that it’s difficult to make a case for any others to dethrone one of Guardiola’s men.
So while the 29-year-old would be an excellent addition, it’s not a move which would turn the Reds into genuine Premier League title contenders.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!