Additional depth of attack to support Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino? Check.
A left-back who can represent Andy Robertson without Liverpool changing their style? Check.
And the man who Liverpool fans coveted for months before arriving at the club in Thiago Alcantara? Check.
A fourth-choice defender was perhaps the only problem that remained unsolved in the eyes of some, but Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are happy with their options and Fabinho has done a solid job there so far when needed.
Meanwhile, a Jadon Sancho chase broke out at Manchester United, adding Edinson Cavani to high wages from PSG and a blatant lack of quality in defense – worryingly, according to some reports – never on the agenda.
Listen to the full Poetry in Motion podcast with Neil Fitzmaurice by clicking HERE
Liverpool’s takeover of Thiago, a player Manchester United dearly wanted when he joined the Bundesliga and reportedly inquired again this summer when the Reds were chasing his signature, is perhaps the greatest barometer of change.
It’s also a reminder of what United used to be: a club that grows stronger from a position of strength.
On the Poetry in Motion podcast, Dan Kay said, “Liverpool have been doing it for three and a half years and they have hit their Everest, if you will – they won the Champions League and they won the Premier League.”
“The nice thing about winning someone like Thiago is that he has won title after title in Germany and that mentality [will help the whole squad].
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“That was the thing with Sir Alex Ferguson: How did he keep the players who were not just millionaires but won four, five, six leagues hungry to win more?”
“That was his greatest asset that he gave them and that would have been part of the reason to bring Thiago in: his standards and his will to win.
“I don’t think there have been any specific signs that Liverpool are missing, but it just raises the bar a little higher for the older and younger players.”
Both Liverpool and Manchester United lost by five goals just before the international break, but the Reds’ result came as a far bigger shock.
By signing Thiago, Klopp and his staff have ensured that Liverpool will stay at the top for even longer and build on their previous success, while Manchester United have failed to improve or even threaten to improve their still obvious shortcomings.
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