Since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have been comfortable regulars within the top four of the Premier League, if not challenging for the title itself. However, after starting 2023 with rough form, Liverpool currently sits in 10th place, 21 points behind league leaders Arsenal. The causes of Liverpool's sudden dip in form are the departures of key players, injuries and a lack of ambition in the transfer market.
The departure of Sadio Mané in the summer 2022 transfer window was a huge loss to Liverpool as they were unable to replace both his quality and energy. Not only was Mané a lethal threat for Liverpool scoring 23 goals in all competitions last season (Transfermarkt, 2023) but also his energy and constant press allowed Klopp's famous gegenpressing system to flourish at Liverpool.
Liverpool have also been unfortunate with injuries this season. Arthur Melo, a Brazilian midfielder who they signed on a season-long loan from Juventus, has so far played 0 matches for Liverpool in the Premier League due to an injury that he picked up early on in the season. Other key players for Liverpool such as, Firmino, Diaz, Jota and Van Dijk have also been unavailable to Liverpool at the start of 2023 due to injuries.
Despite this, I believe that Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group, more commonly known as FSG, will be the main factor for Liverpool's decline in 2023. Even though Liverpool's owners have splashed the cash on players like Van Dijk and more recently, Darwin Núnez, they are still reluctant to invest in the midfield, a significant issue for Liverpool this season. In the summer, Liverpool's net spend of -£4.59m was ranked 16th in the table (Planetfootball, 2023). This shows that Liverpool's owners are too cautious in the transfer market. The only midfield signing they have so far since the start of the summer was Arthur Melo, who has not even played a minute of Premier League football for the club. Fans as a result, have started to become critical of the ownership, demanding that they sell the club.
Overall, multiple factors could cause a rough 2023 for Liverpool but the most significant of these issues is the unambitious ownership that has left a weak squad for Klopp due to their unwillingness to spend in the transfer market.
Planetfootball. (2023, January 6th) Revisiting every Premier League club’s net spend in summer 2022. https://www.planetfootball.com/quick-reads/premier-league-net-spend-summer-2022-chelsea-man-utd-arsenal-tottenham-liverpool/
Transfermarkt. (2023) Sadio Mané https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/sadio-mane/leistungsdaten/spieler/200512/plus/0?saison=2021