Will Next Season Be a Season of Change for Liverpool?
The season of 2014-15 offered little in the way of excitement for Liverpool; quite the contrary from the year prior to that.
In spite of that, there is evidence to suggest this season will not follow that trend of decline; the transfer window of last summer saw a huge reshuffle for the Liverpool squad. However, over the course of last season, many would agree that perhaps not all the signings went according to plan.
So there are a number players whose Liverpool careers, perhaps even whole careers, hinge on this season.
The first of those is without doubt eccentric Italian forward Mario Balotelli; and in this case I’d say it is more likely his entire career that will be decided in the coming season. Recent activity in the transfer market would suggest he is to remain at Liverpool: the Reds have already let go of Iago Aspas, and reports claim a deal is in place with Lazio over the transfer of Fabio Borini. So, all things considered, it looks like Mario is going to get another chance on Merseyside.
Taking that chance however, would mean stepping up his game to the level many have come to expect from a player with the potential many assigned to Balotelli. If he does step up to around the 15 goal a season mark, not only would it be a huge surprise to many, it could be a large boost to the squad as a whole.
And nobody needs a boost like the next player who could really use a change in form next season; whilst he was not a particularly disappointing member of the squad, Lazar Markovic is another player who having joined last season, perhaps hasn’t quite lived up to his price tag. Although it would be unfair to write him off already, it would certainly benefit the team if the Serbian could emulate his Benfica form for the Reds in the coming season.
Another player who will want to replicate form from abroad will be Tiago Ilori. The Portuguese centre back showed great promise during his loan spell in Bordeaux last term, and with Liverpool’s less than solid defence potentially struggling again next year, Ilori will be hoping that he will finally break into the starting XI next season.
Another defender who will be trying to stop that happening is the Croatian Dejan Lovren, who most would agree got off to a less than perfect start last season. Having signed for a huge £20 million fee, the ex-Southampton man showed little sign of recreating the form he showed at the south coast club. Nevertheless, he does have ability on some level, and so it would certainly be worth keeping him in the fray for now, in case he does manage to recapture his past form.
The same could be said for Daniel Sturridge – whilst it would of course be controversial to say his form has declined, as many would account it to injury, he certainly is one who needs a lift next season. I’d go as far as saying his Liverpool career hinges on it; another year restricted by injury and surely the reds would have to stop referring to him as their main striker, such is limited nature of his game time. Again, he is one who can (should he return to the prolific form we know he can have) who could have a huge influence on Liverpool’s season. Nobody knows the effect a top striker can have more than Liverpool fans.
To conclude, Liverpool have a number of players who need to step up their form, not only to invigorate their own careers, but perhaps just to give the team a lift. A lift that is certainly needed if the Reds are to avoid slipping further from the Champions League and deeper into mid table mediocracy.