Liverpool ended 30 years of hurt waiting for a league championship with their first-ever title win in the Premier League era during the 2019-20 season. It has been a progressive journey under Jurgen Klopp with this the ultimate destination for fans of the Anfield outfit.
However, no Reds supporter can think that Premier League rivals will rest on their laurels. Liverpool is now the target and not even early season favorites with the bookmakers to retain their crown.
The opposition has strengthened. Klopp insists that Liverpool cannot “behave like Chelsea” in the transfer market. For those with a more casual interest in football, which requires some explanation.
Frank Lampard was unable to make any signings during his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge due to a transfer ban imposed on the Blues by the European governing body UEFA. It is fair to say that he has more than made up for that now. Backed by the wealth of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, Chelsea has gone out and recruited about £200,000,000 worth of new players this summer. Talk about a statement of intent.
For all the exciting attacking additions of Morocco international Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, and Germany pair Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, it is one of the Blues’ free transfers which catches the eye.
Thiago Silva has been a serial winner in France with PSG, notching seven Ligue 1 titles in eight seasons. He was also part of the AC Milan side which wrestled the Scudetto, the Italian Serie A league championship, from bitter rivals Inter the year after they recorded their famous Treble.
He may be in his mid-30s with fewer games in front of him than behind him, but Brazil center back Silva is a leader and could well prove a vital stopgap in a leaky Chelsea defense. Last season, they finished level on points with Manchester United but conceded 54 league goals, the highest in the top half of the table. If Silva can get the Blues organized at the back, then the 16/1 Premier League betting odds about them winning the title with bet365 could be a bit of value. There is also Leicester City and England left-back Ben Chilwell to come into the Chelsea backline too.
Manchester City, the team Liverpool overhauled and took the championship from, has also been busy making summer signings, meanwhile. Pep Guardiola was roundly criticized for his failure to replace former Etihad captain and defensive leader Vincent Kompany last season.
He has acted on that apparent error now with the move £40,000,000 capture of Nathan Ake from Bournemouth. The Dutch defender making such a high-profile switch to City from a team that was relegated last season may raise a few eyebrows, but this player has always been well-regarded.
Ake was on Chelsea’s books for six years but found the path to first-team football blocked between2011 and 2017. Guardiola has also replaced Leroy Sane with Spanish wide prospect Ferran Torres from Valencia.
Although David Silva is a major miss after a decade of outstanding service at City, there is confidence within the club that young academy product Phil Foden can step into his shoes. The bookies made Guardiola’s team favorites to regain the Premier League title before a ball was kicked, so Liverpool can expect stiffer competition now.