Last season, Liverpool became the epitome of the phrase "so near, yet so far" as they finished runners-up to Manchester City in one of the most nail-biting season Finales the Premier League has ever seen. Of course, last season, Luis Suarez was leading that Liverpool line, and a somewhat suspect backline was protected by the knowledge that the Uruguyan would score regularly enough to bring home the points. Supported by the likes of Sterling, Sturridge and Coutinho, Suarez thrived, earning himself a place at the World Cup. And then it all went wrong.
After the now infamous Biting incident against Italy, Suarez made a swift exit from Anfield, moving to Barcelona in a big-money deal. It was important that Brendan Rodgers approached this season with a definitive idea of where that money would be spent...and, for all intents and purposes, he's done exactly that. But will it be enough? With the likes of Rickie Lambert and Italian Badboy Mario Ballotelli bolstering the forward line, and Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic providing yet more attacking cover, while only Dejan Lovren has been bought in defence, some fans are expressing concern that the eccentric defensive performances from last season are not yet a thing of the past. But what does Rodgers need to do?
At Left-back, Spaniard Alberto Moreno has been brought in, and his pace and trickery will give Liverpool an extra cutting edge. Capable of playing almost anywhere on the left wing, the 21 year old is a solid all-round player, with his impeccable technique accompanied by great timing in the tackle, and enough pace to match almost any Premiership striker.
In the heart of defence, the loss of Daniel Agger hit Liverpool fans hard. Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho remain from last season, with Kolo Toure demoted to the reserves to make way for new face Dejan Lovren. As a defensive tro, it is difficult to pick holes, but fans will be concerned that not enough support is provided to prevent the errors which marred the club's season last year
At Right-back, Glen Johnson has shown multiple times that he's not at the level he was a few years ago when he joined from Portsmouth. Now 29, and despite his physicality, Johnson doesn't fit into the system which Rodgers looked to play last season - going forward, his technique lets him down, and defensively there are too many slip ups to be defensible.
In goal, Simon Mingolet is a capable starting goalkeeper, but his backup, in the form of Brad Jones, has long been a cause for concern. If Liverpool are to mount another serious challenge, Mingolet will have to be steered away from any complacency, and the quickest way to do that, is to sign a second top-class goalkeeper.
In the attacking and midfield areas, Liverpool seem solid. Fans will undoubtedly look to Rodgers to remove some deadwood, and strengthen the right-back and goalkeeping positions before the start of the season...but will Rodgers look to youth, or Big-name signings?