Liverpool icon Graeme Souness believes the club’s surprising lack of transfer business may backfire this summer.
The Anfield giants have bought in just one player, left back Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiakos, and the defence of their first title in three decades begins next week.
Souness has one specific target in mind, Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich, and insists the superstar midfielder would help Liverpool ‘strengthen from a position of power’.
In his column for The Times, Souness wrote: ‘The perfect time to sign players is when they do not have to be an instant hit but can be gradually introduced, so I am disappointed that Liverpool haven’t done so while they are reigning Premier League and world champions.
‘That worked well with the likes of Fabinho and Robertson, who came to the fore after spending several months learning the system and could bed in without the spotlight being on them.
‘That was classic Liverpool when I played there and classic Manchester United for over more than 20 years under Sir Alex Ferguson – to strengthen from a position of power.
‘Thiago Alcantara, the Bayern Munich midfielder, would be perfect because he works his socks off but is also gifted technically. He is 29, but he still has a couple of years, maybe three, at the highest level left in him.’
The Champions League winner’s contract in Bavaria expires at the end of the campaign and it is believed Bayern would settle for a fee of £27million.
Liverpool remain front-runners for his signature, despite Manchester United also being linked, but have reportedly baulked at the price tag for the 29-year-old.
Souness also believes that Liverpool remain the slight favourites to retain their crown, although he envisages a much more competitive title race when the new season begins.
Manchester City are expected to mount a stronger challenge this time around, while Chelsea may be considered dark horses after splashing the cash on a series of sensational additions.
‘As it stands, Liverpool are the favourites for the title, but I don’t see them running away with it again,’ he added. ‘I would have loved to have seen Lionel Messi come in at Manchester City.
‘I expect a bigger challenge, though, from United and Chelsea this time. People are making noises about Arsenal, but I don’t see them being strong enough.’