Make no mistake about it, this 2015/16 Premier League campaign is going to prove a make or break season, not just for Liverpool Football Club, but also specifically for Brendan Rodgers as well.
After last season’s marquee summer signings distinctly failed to make much of a meaningful impact at Anfied, the ever determined Liverpool boss now sees his position at the club come under an intensified cloud of speculation ahead of the new term. One way or another, Rodgers' side need to produce the goods this year if the Anfield faithful are to remain satisfied with their club’s current manager.
However, as has already been widely reported within the broader footballing community in this country, Liverpool ultimately have no choice but to begin the 2015/16 campaign without a certain Raheem Sterling on board. The club have admittedly sought to reinvest the whopping £49 million they received from Manchester City back into the squad at Anfield this summer, yet seeing as very little can seemingly be relied upon in the modern game these days, the Reds must continue to work hard and certainly not take their current position for granted.
So then, in light of the recent transfer activity that has taken place on Merseyside recently, just which of the newly acquired Liverpool stars can send the Reds back among the Premier League’s top-four this season?
Well, the sensible starting point within this debate would seemingly arrive in the form of ex-Aston Villa front-man, Christian Benteke. The 24-year-old Belgian international already has bags of experience in the English game under his belt at this stage in his career, which should provide his new set of supporters with that tad more reliability in front of goal next term.
Against Stoke City this weekend, the bustling centre-forward proved himself a real handful for the Potters’ defence – and subsequently served Brendan Rodgers with some truly promising potential up-top for his side this season. Benteke will almost definitely turn out to be a much better asset than Mario Balotelli on Merseyside, due to his hunger and determination to make things happen in front of goal, but whether or not the big Belgian will actually prove worthy of his hefty price-tag seemingly remains to be decided…
Another fresh face to arrive at Anfield this summer is current first choice England right-back, Nathaniel Clyne. The former Southampton man done a decent job this weekend at the Britannia, alongside the equally fresh full-back recruit Joe Gomez, yet the Liverpool fans will likely still be expecting a great deal more from the quick-footed defender in the weeks to come. When on song however, Clyne certainly proves an exciting prospect for his respective manager – both on the attack and when helping out in defence.
As well as the likes of Benteke, Clyne and Gomez, Reds fans also had the pleasure of paying witness to fellow new-boy, James Milner, this Sunday. The ex-Manchester City, Newcastle and Aston Villa man may not have enjoyed the most memorable debut ever against Stoke City, but his inclusion within the current Liverpool squad should nonetheless provide Rodgers with a fair amount of versatility going into the new season.
However, whether or not both he, and the newly acquired Danny Ings, will actually show themselves to be up for the task at Liverpool this season, still very much remains up for debate. Both players could ultimately prove questionable signings if they fail to make an immediate impact on Merseyside during the 2015/16 campaign, for their collective status in the modern game is ultimately nowhere near where Liverpool want to be.
Lastly then, Brazilian born Roberto Firmino has to go down as the final name on this list in need of evaluation. The 23-year-old might not have been handed a starting role against the Potters this weekend, but the sensation and excitement surrounding his name at Anfield still nonetheless remains prevalent around the club. He is the one tasked with filling Raheem Sterling’s boots at Liverpool this season – but if his prior form in the Bundesliga is to prove something to go by in 2015/16 – the signs are already beginning to look promising for the Anfield faithful.
So, whilst a few more new faces will likely make their arrival on Merseyside before the culmination of the summer transfer window, Liverpool’s current batch of newly sourced stars so far remain quite a mixed bag in the cold light of day. There is a great deal of potential on offer, but seemingly no guarantees on the table.
If Brendan Rodgers can nonetheless land himself some more defensive back-up, as well as perhaps one more attacker to do the business for his side next season, though – Liverpool’s chances of making the top four will ultimately be made all the more likely, even if such a task remains a distinctly difficult one for the club next season.