Graeme Souness thinks Aston Villa might have done ‘the same’ as Liverpool did in 2018 by strengthening their squad this summer, as he told Sky Sports (11/09/21 at 8:20 pm).
Three years ago, Liverpool sold one of their best players, if not their best player, in Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142 million (BBC Sport).
That allowed Jurgen Klopp to bulk more important areas of his squad, including bringing in Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.
This summer, Villa lost their own star man in Jack Grealish, who moved to Manchester City for a British record transfer fee of £100 million.
Following that sale, Dean Smith brought in the likes of Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey.
And Souness thinks Villa, even though they have lost such a key figure, like Liverpool a number of years ago, might be in a better position because now their squad is better.
“Can I make that point with what Liverpool did with Coutinho,” said Souness. “They took about £150 million for that.
“They got a goalkeeper and Van Dijk. And a last chunk of change. That might be the same with Grealish.
“They have strengthened in other areas. The proof will be the results. Last year they were 11th. Let’s see where they are this year.”
Perhaps Villa’s standout purchase was bringing ex-Liverpool striker Ings to the Midlands from Southampton.
Even though he failed to score at the weekend, he has two goals and one assist in his opening four matches.
It’s going to be interesting to see how these new signings fair at Villa and if they can make real strides going forward, such as getting into Europe.
One thing is for sure, on paper, the squad does look stronger, but games aren’t won on paper.