It’s too early to say how it will all play out and what it might or might not lead to, but the early signs are that Liverpool’s just might have the highest morale—the most togetherness, the camaraderie—of any side in the Premier League.
Everyone involved, not least the players, seems buoyed. By the club’s chances this year but also by the group they’re a part of, from the returning Daniel Sturridge to new signings like Xherdan Shaqiri to Virgil van Dijk, who talked about the upbeat mood.
“I think it’s all the players and obviously the manager and the style,” Van Dijk told the media before he and his teammates left the United States having wrapped the North American leg of their pre-season with a 4-1 victory over Manchester United.
“Everyone around the club, it’s all a big family. Everyone can see it from the outside and inside, but it really is. You come in and everyone is good to you and wants to help you and make life easier for you straight away.”
The team look energised and optimistic, and the new additions have only seemed to add to that—even while making competition for playing time that much more difficult for a side already good enough to make it to the Champions League final.
Now, though, all that positivity needs to be channeled into work, because while the promise is there, promise isn’t silverware. This boisterous, buoyant group is Liverpool’s best—at the very least in the Premier League era. Now they need to make it happen on the pitch.
“I think it’s a very exciting time to be a Liverpool player and a Liverpool fan,” Van Dijk added. “Hopefully, we are going to do something special, but we are not looking too far ahead. We need to focus on the present, work hard and be humble.”
“We showed [last season] what we are capable of and we need to build on that. We need to take it with us and use it as experience and learn from it. It’s going to be a very hard, tough season but we will see how it goes.
“We can’t look too far ahead. Obviously, everybody in the squad has ambitions. The club has ambitions and we need to just show it on the pitch.”