Liverpool is set to kick off another Premier League campaign this Saturday when they travel to Craven Cottage to welcome Fulham back to the topflight. Hopes and expectations are high after last year’s record-breaking season saw the Reds flirting with the unprecedented quadruple, a feat that has never been achieved by an English club.
Champions League winner and former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has offered his preseason takes on the Reds rivalry with Manchester City, the team dynamics without Sadio Mane and the possibility of Marco Asensio replacing Roberto Firmino.
Speaking to Genting Casino, Hamann had this to say about Liverpool’s chances of repeating last season’s success.
“Psychologically this season will be tough for Liverpool because they know they can’t play much better than they did last year and so I think Man City have an advantage in that respect.
“Liverpool and Man City are both capable of dominating in a number of competitions this season, but I don’t think the position that Liverpool were in last season will be repeated any time soon.”
The former German international has some doubts that Liverpool can reach the levels they did last season, and the transfer of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich doesn’t help ease those doubts.
“It remains to be seen how the dynamics of the team change because Darwin Nunez is a different player to Firmino who made the centre-forward position his own for the last few years.
“And then in Sadio Mane, Liverpool lost a player who averaged over 20 goals and ten or 15 assists per season, and we need to see if Luis Diaz can do that. He had a good start to his Liverpool career but whether he can do it year in, year out remains to be seen.
“The biggest issue with Liverpool is the lack of an attacking midfielder. They need to find a few goals from midfield but the way they’re set up now I can’t see them doing that.”
Lastly, Hamann spoke about replacing Firmino and how Marco Asensio would fit into the side.
“Liverpool don’t need to replace Roberto Firmino because they’ve got Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez.
“Marco Asensio is familiar to Firmino and is a very capable player and in a team like Liverpool, he could easily rejuvenate his career.”