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FSG has given Liverpool transfer edge over Premier League as FFP rules will add further boost

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Liverpool has always been careful with its spending under FSG with the US owners having long been keen for FFP to be implemented. That strategy has already paid off.

While there is a good chance that Gary Neville talking Tottenham up so much over the weekend was because Ange Postecoglou’s side had just played Manchester United and clearly been a level above, it also said something interesting about Liverpool.

Neville suggested that when Spurs get players back from injury, if the likes of James Maddison stay fit over the next few months, Tottenham could end up finishing above Arsenal and Liverpool. The chances of that happening are obviously slim.

But Neville was likely only in part coming up with a knee-jerk reaction based on his own team being outplayed on home turf. Because of the depth that Jürgen Klopp has at his disposal at Liverpool, the German’s injury list has been wrongfully overlooked.

Alexis Mac Allister, for example, missed a large portion of the busiest period on the English calendar through injury, but Klopp had Wataru Endō to step into the number six role. Mohamed Salah is currently at AFCON, but Liverpool has Diogo Jota, Cody Gakpo, Luis Díaz and Darwin Núñez who can cover for him.

Liverpool has been just as injury-hit as anyone else — and has eight first-team stars to come back of its own without counting those on international duty — but that is largely being forgotten because of the squad that Klopp has assembled. No one has more depth: not even Manchester City.

That slow and steady squad building might have gone unnoticed for many, but it is a huge strength that Liverpool has and a major advantage over the rest of the Premier League. FSG’s approach has led to a steady increase in quality and key men like Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino have been gradually replaced.

It means that Liverpool is starting from a position of strength when it comes to further bolstering its squad, which will be vital heading into next season. With the expanded Champions League format comes more games and more traveling. The already-relentless schedule will become even more congested.

But while Liverpool will need to spend in the summer to prepare for that, it will do so from a position of already having the bulk of its squad for the next few years in place. The likes of Gakpo, Díaz and Núñez, all relatively recent acquisitions, are yet to enter their prime.

Amid the stricter implementation of FFP (now called PSR, but effectively coming under the same umbrella), that will be a major advantage to capitalize on. Not only does Liverpool have a stronger squad than most, but it also has the most wriggle room when it comes to being able to further invest, which it will continue to do sensibly.
Newcastle United is almost the opposite, having little scope for big investments without selling stars first, and a squad depleted by injuries and lacking depth in most areas. Manchester United and even Arsenal, to some extent, among others, might find the same.
While many might use that as an argument against FFP/PSR being a fair system — and there should be a debate about what the best way forward is for a variety of reasons — every club knew the rules at the start whether they liked them or not. Newcastle knew that when it chose where its resources would be directed and Arsenal knew it too when it chose to give Chelsea $82m (£65m/€75m) for Kai Havertz instead of bringing in an established goalscorer.
Liverpool being smarter within the regulations has set it up perfectly to continue to build from that platform. It already has the best squad in the Premier League and now has the capacity to further improve from here.

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