On the eve of their season opener against Leeds at Anfield, backup left-back Kostas Tsimikas remains the champions’ only major signing
Liverpool don’t need any signings to defend their Premier League crown and the rest of the division is simply playing catch-up in the transfer market, according to Reds legend Ian Rush.
On the eve of Liverpool’s season opener against newly-promoted Leeds, their only major signing of the summer has been left-back Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiacos.
They have consistently been linked with a move for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago, with another rumoured target in Ismaila Sarr still to leave Watford following their relegation, but Rush doesn’t think Jurgen Klopp would have an easy job adding to his squad – and he doesn’t need to.
“In an ideal world everybody wants to make signings but the problem they have at Liverpool is that if they sign someone, they are not guaranteed a place,” said Rush, speaking to 888Sport. “They could sign a player for £80 million ($102m) but would they come without the guarantee of a first-team place?
“That’s how strong that Liverpool squad is and that will only change if they get a few injuries. Barring injuries, I think Klopp is happy with his squad.
“Everyone else is spending for the sake of it because they need to catch up and they need to sign new players. They have to up their game because Liverpool have raised the standard now.
“We have to hope that everyone stays fit but I wouldn’t worry about Liverpool not signing anyone.”
For Liverpool, according to Rush, the focus is squarely on the pitch and defending their crown.
Manchester City followed up their 100-point season in 2017-18 with 98 points the following year, before dropping off badly as Liverpool romped to the title last season.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has said the squad know they have a target on their backs as reigning champions, but Rush says no decline in quality will be tolerated.
“Klopp will not tolerate a drop off at all,” he said. “Look at the pre-season games. Liverpool beat Blackpool 7-2 but he was looking at the two goals conceded. The actions they do have to be exactly at the same level as last year otherwise Liverpool will not win games, it’s as simple as that.
“Liverpool are the team everyone wants to beat. For the past few years it was Manchester City and City will feel a little bit hurt because Liverpool were able to pretty easily build up an early lead last season. This time they will want to come out of the traps straight away.
“Everyone will want to beat Liverpool and that starts against Leeds United on Saturday. You don’t really want to be playing promoted teams so early in the season and Leeds will be going to Anfield wanting to prove a point; trying to set their standard.”
Read the full 888Sport interview with Ian Rush here.