With the Premier League campaign now over, it’s time to hand out our end of season awards, starting with our Signing of the Season.
It would have been very easy to hand this award to Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian was signed for just over €40 million, and may well be worth nearer to €150 million now, but Liverpool’s signing of Andrew Robertson has proved equally as successful.
A huge problem area for the last decade, the Reds’ last quality left-back was John Arne Riise. Alberto Moreno’s inability to defend meant Jurgen Klopp moved to sign Robertson for just €9 million from relegated Hull City.
Liverpool’s biggest rivals for the left-back last summer were Burnley. The Scottish defender took time to adjust to life at Anfield, but once he was given the opportunity to showcase his quality on a regular basis, he never looked back.
Manchester City spent over €100 million to sign Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy in the same transfer window, suggesting quality full-backs don’t come cheap, but Robertson, under the guidance of Klopp, has proved otherwise.
At just 24, Liverpool have got themselves a top-quality left-back for many years to come.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
The Egyptian of course deserves a mention. At just €40 million, Liverpool ended up getting themselves a bargain. If they were to sell Salah now, his value would have at least tripled. A record-breaking season helped Liverpool secure themselves of a place in the top four, all while securing a spot in the Champions League final. Salah’s incredible 32-goal haul from a wide position was simply outstanding – and Liverpool will be delighted to have got him for the price they did from Roma.
Ederson (Manchester City)
Pep Guardiola knew exactly what type of goalkeeper he wanted. Despite paying a world record fee for a goalkeeper to sign Ederson, City certainly got their money’s worth. The Brazilian was exceptional throughout the season, making a host of impressive saves that helped City to a record-breaking campaign. His range of passing and confidence on the ball were both vital to the way Guardiola wanted his side to play.
Jack Cork (Burnley)
Swansea City were relegated while Burnley secured a European spot. While the problems for the Swans were much more than just the departure of Cork, it’s no coincidence that they struggled and his new club flourished. Cork’s tireless work rate was vital to Sean Dyche throughout the season, allowing the Clarets boss to play with two strikers rather than an extra midfield man. Cork was the only midfielder to play every minute of the 2017/18 campaign.
The German manager believes his players do need some rest so that they can bring out their best when the day comes.
Find out what he had to say about the preparations.
“I always remember as a 10-year-old kid who was watching the Champions League from home,” the Liverpool star told Egyptian network ON Ent in an exclusive interview ahead of his side’s clash against Real Madrid on May 26.
“Sitting on the sofa and watching it eagerly. You see how people in Egypt view this so this is what makes me feel something different.”
The 25-year-old understands the significance of his presence in club football’s showpiece event – he’s the first Egyptian to reach the Champions League final – noting how far he’s come since the days of watching the European final as a youngster and the special place he holds in Egyptian fans’ hearts.
“People are watching me as I watching other superstars on TV a long time ago.
“They see their superstar capable of reaching that level and they feel capable to because someone from their country can do it, so why can’t they?
“It makes me really happy when I see people comment on that saying that I have given them hope.”