There’s no denying the fact that Liverpool fell below the bar of expectation last season. After missing out on a second league title of the Jurgen Klopp era by a single point in 2021-22, the Reds were tipped to push Manchester City all the way again last term. But they could fare no better than fifth and thus missed out on Champions League football for the first time since 2016.

There is no room for error in the upcoming Premier League season, as it looks set to be an extremely competitive campaign with very little to separate up to six or seven teams in the EPL top 4 odds as Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur could put up a fight alongside Liverpool for a place in the lucrative positions.

However, given the immense quality within their ranks, the Reds are expected to bounce back into contention for the league title let alone compete for the top four this season and they have crucially strengthened their midfield with the acquisitions of Dominik Szoboszlai for £65 million from RB Leipzig and Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton and Hove Albion for £35m.

Following the lacklustre performances from veterans Jordan Henderson and Fabinho — who both look bound for the rising Saudi Pro League this summer — in the middle of the park last season, it was imperative that Liverpool rejuvenated their midfield ahead of the 2023-24 campaign if they want to challenge for the title once again.

The Liverpool hierarchy have addressed that issue early in the transfer window with Szoboszlai and World Cup winner Mac Allister, while another midfielder could yet to be added to the squad before the start of the season with the highly-rated Southampton youngster Romeo Lavia and France international Khephren Thuram two of the names being thrown around in the rumour mill.

The big question is whether or not Szoboszlai and Mac Allister are signings that can hit the ground running at Anfield and have an instant impact in a red shirt. That’s of even more importance as Liverpool’s first game of the season is a trip to Stamford Bridge to take on the now Mauricio Pochettino-managed Chelsea and Klopp will be eager to get off on the right foot with a statement of intent victory in West London.

For Mac Allister, there shouldn’t be too many concerns. The 24-year-old playmaker made just short of 100 Premier League appearances during his three-and-a-half years with the Seagulls, scoring 16 goals and registering five assists in the English top flight and his performances for Argentina as they won the Qatar World Cup were an indication that he is ready for a step up in class.

Szoboszlai, on the other hand, is yet to have a taste of Premier League football and when players arrive from abroad, they tend to need a bedding-in period. That could be the case for the Hungarian and given that he is just 22 years of age, Klopp could give him time to adapt instead of throwing him straight in at the deep end.

But then again, the Reds have paid a hefty fee for his services and he is relatively experienced for a player of his age. Szoboszlai has already made over 200 senior appearances at club level, including 62 Bundesliga appearances for Leipzig over the last two seasons, and has earned 32 caps for Hungary. So, he’s not exactly raw.

The concern though is that the duo might not be of a high enough quality to bridge last season’s huge gap between the Reds and the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City entirely. The former have only brought in Matteo Kovacic thus far in the transfer window, but Pep Guardiola’s side is already loaded with quality and Arsenal have strengthened drastically with the signings of Jurrien Timber, Kai Havertz and Declan Rice.