We’ve been here before, haven’t we Liverpool fans?
Just like when Luis Suarez left Anfield for the bright lights of Barcelona back in the summer of 2014, the Reds were forced to part with their talisman Mohamed Salah after his Golden Boot/PFA Player of the Year-winning 2017/18 campaign.
We all knew this was an inevitability, although most of us expected him to stick around for at least one more season after leading the Reds to the 2018 Champions League final – which they lost in a 5-4 thriller against Real Madrid.
But having played a big role in Egypt’s incredible run to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, it was Los Blancos who came calling for Salah just weeks ahead of the new season and, let’s face it, their £145 million bid was hard to turn down.
But what happened next? And how did Jurgen Klopp replace the likeable Egyptian?
Salah was officially unveiled as the latest in a long line of “galacticos” in the early days of September 2018, claiming it was a dream to play under Zinedine Zidane and alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
Salah’s arrival at Madrid ahead of the new season was all the more important considering Ronaldo was set to miss the opening couple of months of the campaign after being stretched off in the first few minutes of Portugal’s appearance in the World Cup final.
As you’d expect, #SalahMadrid trended on Twitter within minutes, while he’s handed the well-established No. 11 shirt thanks to Gareth Bale’s low-key departure to Man United.
However, Salah’s transfer fails to ignite the same hype as their eye-watering capture of Neymar earlier in the summer, who moved from Paris to the Spanish capital for £250m plus Keylor Navas.
Klopp’s shopping spree
Meanwhile, with £145m in the bank, Klopp decides to heed the mistakes made when Liverpool tried to replace Suarez by snapping up Marco Reus for a bargain price from Dortmund.
Unfortunately, the German winger tears his cruciate ligament walking through the terminal of Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport and misses the opening six months of the season.
As a result, Liverpool spend the rest of the summer desperately seeking further attacking options, and after Mario Balotteli tells them to go f**k themselves, they eventually settle for Brighton’s statesman Glenn Murray and Sporting winger Gelson Martins.
Emre Can completes his long-time expected move to Juventus, so the Reds offer a huge contract to free agent Marouane Fellaini, who says he’s excited to move to such a dynamic and attacking side after having his creativity and finesse “stifled” at United.
Southampton picked apart
Having ended their previous campaign with relegation to the Championship, Southampton are expectantly picked apart by the big guys in the Premier League.
And with Liverpool being Liverpool, the Reds snap up three of the Saints most sought-after players in James Ward-Prowse, Ryan Bertrand and Mario Lemina for a combined fee of £55m.
As part of that deal, Simon Mignolet moves to St. Mary’s on a season-long loan but is instantly disgruntled to learn he remains third-choice behind Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster.
The opening Premier League weekend kicks-off with Liverpool facing newly-promoted Wolves at Anfield.
The Championship winners make several big-money signings of their own over the summer – including Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, who combine to help Nuno Espirito Santo’s side to a shock 3-1 win.
Sorry, Liverpool fans, but it’s going to be another few years before it really is ‘your season’.
- Remembering Wolves’ game-changing summer transfer window of 2018
- Egyptians vote for Mohamed Salah to become president as more than 1 million spoil ballots in election
- Egypt are the World Cup dark horse everyone should be talking about…