LONDON — Danny Murphy believes Liverpool’s fast start to the transfer window will help Jurgen Klopp build on this season’s success, though he warned it is too soon to say if they are the biggest threat to Manchester City’s defence of the Premier League title.
None of the Premier League’s top six have been busier this summer than Liverpool. Naby Keita and Fabinho have already been confirmed as reinforcements at Anfield for a combined cost of £92 million, while Lyon playmaker Nabil Fekir is expected to follow in a £52m deal in the coming days.
Murphy, who made 170 appearances for Liverpool during a seven-year spell at Anfield, told ESPN FC he thinks all are quality additions and thinks giving Klopp the entirety of preseason to work with his new faces will only benefit the team once next season begins.
“I like the fact they’re getting their business done early,” said Murphy, who will represent England against a World XI in Soccer Aid for UNICEF at Old Trafford on Sunday (broadcast live at 6:30 p.m. local time on ITV).
“I always felt at clubs when players were coming in late it was detrimental because then you’ve got other players going, ‘hold on, is that me out of the door?’ Get your business done early.
“I still think the keeper thing needs addressing and I think it will be, and maybe another centre-back. But in terms of attacking areas, I think they’re alright. Strength in depth is a question mark maybe, in terms of when you look at the benches of United and City. If you look at United’s front six it’s incredible really. But I’m pleased. They’re close.”
Liverpool’s big spending has raised hopes of a genuine Premier League title challenge next season, but Murphy is wary of labelling his former club as the team that will emerge as City’s most dangerous rival.
“It’s hard to judge right now depending what the others do,” he insisted. “Who’s to say United won’t go again?
“But Liverpool getting stuff done early is really beneficial in terms of prepping and getting them in and working on combinations.
“Also the way Klopp plays, it’s quite intense and specific and they’re going to have to get on board with that because if you come in late July or late August, you’re going to take a little ….you know, [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain took a while, they had to get him up to speed. The left-back [Andy] Robertson the same, he didn’t play for a while because he had to [adjust].
“Klopp gets his players and he thinks, ‘They are not ready for what I want them to do.’ Whereas if he gets them now, it gives him a head start.”
Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.