Weaker or stronger? A look at Liverpool’s rivals for the title

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A summer without a World Cup or Euros is like an extended international break in the season; weeks spent constantly searching the internet for transfer rumours, countless hours playing free online games, and perhaps even reconnecting with the family. The waiting is almost over though, and another season is just about upon us.

At the time of writing, and putting Liverpool’s transfer window and rumours aside for a moment, how have the teams who will be battling with them for the title fared this summer? Will they go into the new season a greater or lesser threat?

Manchester City


It has been an odd window for arguably Liverpool’s biggest rivals so far, with several big-name departures and really only two additions of note.

Raheem Sterling may not have had his best season last time round, but he has been one of the most consistent performers for the Sky Blues in Pep Guardiola’s time at the club.

Gabriel Jesus was never able to fill Sergio Aguero’s boots and was not given the minutes on the pitch to really establish himself.

Oleksandr Zinchenko is a quality player who provides bags of energy, and if he is not replaced, the team are only an injury away from big problems down that defensive flank.

The biggest loss is Fernandinho, who was crucial not just in shoring up the defence but in providing an attacking spark and threat.

Kalvin Phillips is a capable replacement but is not yet up to the same level.

Jesus’ replacement, Erling Haaland is undoubtedly top quality, but the team has not as a rule played with an out-and-out striker for a while, and the young player may take a while to get up to speed in the EPL.

Verdict: Weaker

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On paper, Arsenal have had a very good window.

The expected departure of Lacazette aside, the club have strengthened significantly, exactly where they needed to, with Manchester City’s Zinchenko and Jesus likely to be given the starring roles they were never able to pin down at their former club.

Verdict: Stronger


Whether Spurs, or Arsenal for that matter, are actually a rival for the title is a discussion for another day, but the North London outfit does have a manager capable of getting the most out of the undoubtedly talented group of players they have.

Steven Bergwijn has departed, but Antonio Conte has spent big and on the whole wisely. Highly rated England U21 full-back Djed Spence joined along with Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster, Yves Bissouma and Richarlison.

Their three biggest assets are still the Italian tactician, Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son, but they are suddenly looking like a side that belong in the top four at least.

Verdict: Stronger


The post-Roman Abramovich era began for Chelsea with a raft of departures, including misfiring Romelu Lukaku, the instrumental Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

Former Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly is highly thought of, but it is unlikely he will fit into the defensive structure as well as the departing German international.

Raheem Sterling looks a decent buy, but the move comes on the back of his worst season domestically for some time.

It is yet another period of flux and transition for the club, who only twelve months ago looked to have put themselves in a position of real title contenders.

Little should be read into pre-season friendlies, but their recent mauling at the hands of Arsenal does not suggest they will be ready to compete just yet.

There have been reports that the Blues are vying for Benjamin Pavard’s signature, as has been reported by Fabrizio Romano (via Bayern Strikes) – an addition that would strengthen the squad, albeit not to such an extent as to worry the league’s top outfits.

Verdict: Weaker

Manchester United

The days of Manchester United being a title challenger seem both a long time ago, and a long way off.

Erik ten Hag has his work cut out to turn the ship around, and though he is making the right noises it is beyond the realms of any man to turn the car crash of recent seasons into a competent outfit in a few short weeks or months.

The three additions look decent on paper, but it is the departures that will benefit them the most.

Verdict: Stronger

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