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Liverpool

What comes after (near) perfection?

General preview 2019/20

The aim now is to knock City off their perch

Where do you go after you've almost reached perfection?

In Liverpool's case, the answer is one further and end what will be a 30-year wait to be crowned champions of England.

A club record 97 points wasn't quite enough to prevent Manchester City from claiming a second successive Premier League crown in one of the most enthralling, breathless title battles of recent times.

That it was the highest points total anyone in Europe's leading leagues has ever recorded without winning the title only heightened the suspicion this was a very Liverpool way of missing out.

Mind you, becoming European champions by dismissing Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final was not a bad consolation prize, deserved reward for a remarkable campaign.

And it was one supporters embraced enthusiastically. Liverpool teams have won plenty in the past, but few have been quite as loved as this Jurgen Klopp vintage.

Klopp's incredible faith in his players was rewarded last season and underlines why there has been so little movement so far this transfer window.

The aim now is to knock City off their perch and become in England what they are in Europe – the best.

Pre-season news

Klopp's side were good... in patches

Tranmere Rovers 0-6 Liverpool

Clyne, Brewster (2), Jones, Origi, Duncan.

Bradford City 1-3 Liverpool

Milner (2, P), Brewster.

Liverpool 2-3 Borussia Dortmund

Wilson, Brewster (P).

Liverpool 1-2 Sevilla

Origi.

Liverpool 2-2 Sporting Lisbon

Origi, Wijnaldum.

Liverpool 0-3 Napoli

Liverpool 3-1 Lyon

Firmino, Andersen (og), Wilson.

Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City (4-5 on pens)

Matip.

transfer window

A quiet window

Not much has happened, as Klopp had always insisted. Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno left after their contracts expired, Danny Ings had already agreed a permanent move to Southampton, and the only incomings have been youngsters Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott, along with free agent Adrian, who has replaced the departed Simon Mignolet as deputy to first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker. That's it.

Rating: 6/10

Rating: 7/10

Sepp van den Berg

The 17-year-old Dutch defender is clearly highly rated and is also very tall, which has proven useful in his brief pre-season outings thus far. One for the future.

Rating: 7/10

Harvey Elliott

He is already the youngest player to feature in the Premier League, and caught the eye in a brief cameo at Murrayfield against Napoli. Will the 16-year-old get a first-team chance this season? Maybe.

Rating: 7/10

Adrian

Simon Mignolet was in many ways too good to be a number two goalkeeper, and Liverpool allowed him to go reluctantly. Adrian has Premier League experience, is solid enough and will keep Alisson Becker honest. That's all you can ask from an obvious second-choice keeper.

Season predictions

Liverpool will run City close once more - but will a lack of new faces come back to haunt them?

The lack of new faces, for whatever reason, has irked some Liverpool fans who believe the team requires at least one new attacking option. Much will depend on keeping Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino fit, and there will be tricky times during the opening weeks with so many players returning late for pre-season. In terms of the Premier League, it does look like it's again between City and Liverpool with Pep Guardiola's side once more likely to have a bit too much.