Jurgen Klopp Liverpool

Are Liverpool finally ready to challenge for the Premier League title?

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been in charge of the Reds since 2015 and has built a squad this summer that should challenge on all fronts. The Merseysiders reached the Champions League with their outstanding attacking trio (Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino) largely to thank, but their performances in the Premier League weren’t as impressive – fourth with 75 points.

But after signing one of the best central defenders (Virgil van Dijk from Southampton) in the Premier League last season, two outstanding central midfielders (Fabinho from AS Monaco, Naby Keita from RB Leipzig) this summer, procuring the signature of one of the best goalkeepers (Alisson from AS Roma) in Europe and signing back-up (Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City) for the attack, are Liverpool finally ready for a tilt at the title?

Manchester City won the Premier League crown last season with 100 points from 38 games, winning 32 of their matches and scoring 106 goals. Pep Guardiola’s men set the benchmark domestically, but Liverpool beat them over two legs in the Champions League quarter-finals so they aren’t to be underestimated.

Liverpool’s potential starting XI next season: Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Naby Keita, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson; Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah.

Given Liverpool’s three prolific attackers scored 57 league goals between them last season, Klopp only need to sign players to stop the Reds conceding so many at the other end. He’s spent a lot of money to do exactly that and Liverpool should have their best domestic campaign since his appointment as a result.

Liverpool’s best run of form last season came after December 2017. They had a strong 2018 under Klopp and will hope to maintain such momentum when the new campaign begins on August 12 against West Ham United. Given the former Borussia Dortmund coach has strengthened the weakest elements of the squad, there’s no reason why they can’t start fast.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has already put pressure on the Reds, insisting Klopp has to deliver silverware after so much spending in the last six months. He said: “Maybe this season finally you demand that they win. I think you have to be fair and now you have to demand (they win the league). A team that was a finalist in the Champions League, you have to say you are a big candidate, you have to win.”

Under Klopp, Liverpool have finished eight with 60 points (2015/16), fourth with 76 points (2016/17) and fourth with 75 points (2017/18) in the league. Will 2018/19 finally see them win the title?