Over the past six months, Liverpool have worked to sign nearly the entire first team squad to extended—and, for the players, more lucrative—deals, reflecting a growing belief at the club that they now possess of the best sides in England and Europe.
Any fans expecting a slew of expensive new signings to arrive at the club over the next six months may be disappointed, but Liverpool believe they now have the quality to compete for major trophies and a window that extends out for a number of seasons.
That’s the story being pushed today by journalists with ties to the club, with both Paul Joyce in The Times and Melissa Reddy in Joe touching on a shift in focus from building a side that can win domestically and in Europe to maintaining a side that can.
Joyce notes the recent new contracts for core first team players will come at an increased cost of £150-200M to the club, something that is necessary—the chance to be part of a side that can win, as important as it is to players, is only one part of the equation.
If Liverpool believe they have players good enough to play at any club in the world, then to keep them they must be willing to pay wages in line with what they could earn at other top clubs, and new deals for the likes of Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino do that.
Reddy, meanwhile, notes that this season “there is internal belief now that Liverpool have the best XI in the division.” None of that means the club won’t still look to buy players, but it does mean that major changes to that core squad aren’t likely.
Further, with most of Liverpool’s first team between 25 and 27, the club are looking at a three to five year window when this group of players—if kept together—could be at their collective physical peak. And that is certainly an enticing prospect.
Players will still come and go—at the very least, Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno will depart in the summer when their contracts expire—and replacements will be sought when necessary, but that recruitment will likely shift towards youth and potential.
The core of the first team is now set for the foreseeable future. At least that’s the message being pushed by club-connected journalists. Liverpool believe they have a squad that can win now and in the coming years. And they want to keep it together.