Premier League 2016/17 Preview – Liverpool

Liverpool-v-Villarreal

Daniel Sturridge scored three times in Liverpool’s Europa League run, including in the Final against Sevilla. Image: Mirror Football

Liverpool’s season last year would have to go down as a disappointment, finishing in eighth. Jurgen Klopp having a full pre-season will be key in him imposing his philosophy on the squad. Liverpool fans will generally happy with their dealings this summer, as they have shipped out a lot of dead wood and strengthened some key positions. Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure and Joe Allen are among the fringe players that have been shipped out, with the Reds recouping around £46m. Klopp has gone out and spent that money, with £36m spent on another Southampton player, Saido Mane. Although Mane has proven his quality in the Premier League, notably against Liverpool last season, he is very inconsistent and will often have to be carried by his new teammates. Loris Karius has joined to challenge Simon Mignolet in goal, whilst Ragnar Klavan coming in at the back. Question marks will be raised over the £25m spent on Georginio Wijnaldum, who although showed signs of talent in his season at Newcastle, lacked the application over the whole of the season. Goals weren’t a problem for Liverpool last year, putting seven past Man City alone, and with five players hitting double figures in all competitions. The lack of European football could be an advantage to a Liverpool side that will already potentially be fitter than some of their rivals for Champions League football.

Key Man: Daniel Sturridge. Despite having an injury hit season, Sturridge managed eight league goals last season. If kept fit by Klopp, the England striker could easily challenge for the golden boot, especially given the service of Coutinho and Firmino.

One to Watch: Sheyi Ojo. The winger made a handful of appearances last season as Jurgen Klopp rotated his squad in the league, but he certainly didn’t look out of place. He made four assists in his eight games and direct running was great to watch. There is heavy competition for places in the Liverpool attack, but the 19 year old will be able to step up if called upon.

Last Season: 8th

Prediction: 8th

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