Liverpool got their 2018/19 campaign off to a flyer by beating West Ham 4-0 at the weekend with a new sense of optimism oozing from the club.
The Reds finished in the top four last season whilst also making it to the final of the Champions League.
They have signed new players to give strength to the spine of their team and one of those was central defender Virgil van Dijk who joined from Southampton for a club record £75 million in January.
Former England right-back Gary Neville is surprised by the impact the defender has made in his short time at Anfield whilst also recognising the excellent business that Liverpool have completed over the summer.
Naby Keita finally completed his move from RB Leipzig, Fabinho joined from Monaco and the much-needed addition of first choice goalkeeper arrived in the form of Alisson Becker from AS Roma for an initial £56 million giving the Reds strength in depth, a point not lost on Neville.
He said on the Gary Neville Podcast: “I thought Van Dijk was a good player at Southampton, but I didn’t think he was worth £75m, and I didn’t think he would have the impact on Liverpool’s defence that he’s had.
“He’s a monster, and is looking a bit like Jaap Stam. It looks like he just throws people out of the way.
“You look at that midfield, with Wijnaldum, Keita and Milner, with Henderson still to come in. There is some strength in depth there.
“Can Liverpool reproduce that high-intensity football Saturday-Wednesday? And did they need another centre-forward in case Firmino is out? Because I do think there is a big drop in intensity in their play when him or Salah are not playing.”
Daniel Sturridge replaced Roberto Firmino in the season opener and scored within 24 seconds.
A fully-fit Sturridge may well allay Neville’s fears about Jurgen Klopp’s perceived lack of forward options.
Liverpool travel to Crystal Palace next weekend looking to continue their good start to the new campaign.
Bakayoko Leaves Chelsea
The 23-year-old will move to Italy with Milan negotiating a buy option if the player succeeds whilst playing at the San Siro this season.
AC Milan released a statement on their official club website confirming the news that the competitive midfielder would be playing for Gennaro Gattuso’s side this campaign.
Bakayoko only moved to Chelsea in the summer of 2017 when former manager Antonio Conte signed the youngster from then-French champions AS Monaco for a transfer fee of £40 million.
The 1-cap French international played 29 league games for the Blues, scoring and assisting just twice apiece in what was ultimately a disappointing first season in England for the Frenchman.
Although the move is only and loan deal, with the negotiation for a future buy clause for Milan suggests that new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri doesn’t see any real future for Bakayoko at the club, just 12 months after Chelsea spent a considerable amount of money on the Ligue 1 title winner.
Comunicato Ufficiale: Tiémoué Bakayoko è rossonero ⬇https://t.co/2isZ7k7wf4
— AC Milan (@acmilan) August 14, 2018
Bakayoko played just 63 league matches for Monaco but that was enough to convince the west London club to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
Despite a relatively positive start to his 2017/18 season, Bakayoko’s form rapidly worsened and his place in the team was no longer guaranteed.
Sarri has brought in Jorginho this season from former club Napoli. With their new signing, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Danny Drinkwater just a few names who can play centre-midfield, Bakayoko seemingly had no choice but to head to Italy to seek first-team football.