The Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton is the longest running top-flight derby in England and has been played continuously since the 1962/63 season. The rivalry between supporters has intensified over the years, with Anfield and Goodison Park separated by less than a mile.
We take a look at why Everton could hinder Liverpool’s chance of success of next season.
It has without doubt been an inspiring summer for Everton supporters so far. Ronald Koeman has already added the likes of Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen, Sandro Ramirez, Henry Onyekuru and Michael Keane to his squad ahead of next season.
However, the return of Wayne Rooney to Goodison Park on Sunday from Manchester United was the biggest arrival of them all and has got supporters very excited about what next season might hold for the Toffees.
Despite these signings, star striker Romelu Lukaku left the club last week to join Manchester United in a deal worth £75 million plus add-ons. The Belgian striker made 37 appearances for the club last season, scoring 25 goals in the process. The 24-year-old will certainly be missed next season, but Koeman appears to be spending the money wisely to build a better squad for next season overall.
A key reason why Everton supporters will be optimistic about next season will be because Koeman has now had time to get his ideas across and can now bring in his own players to add to what is already a talented squad.
Everton are a club renowned for giving their managers time, and this is a philosophy Koeman is likely to flourish under. He performed better in his second season with Southampton, and he will be hoping he can now do the same with Everton next season.
In comparison, the Blues’ arch rivals Liverpool, have had a very frustrating summer in regards to transfer business so far. Supporters were hoping that the fact they gained a route into the Champions League for next season would really help them push on and attract some world-class talent to the club. However, this has not turned out to be the case.
Jürgen Klopp has been left increasingly frustrated by the club’s inability to land some of his primary transfer targets such as Naby Keita, Virgil van Dijk, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kylian Mbappé and more.
One player, the Reds, did manage to sign was Mohamed Salah as he joined in a deal worth £34.3 million from Roma. The Egyptian winger is a decent addition to Liverpool’s squad, but more arrivals are required before the start of the season.
The lack of transfer activity has caused a significant amount of discontent and frustration among the club’s fanbase. There is also a feeling of anxiety among Liverpool supporters that their arch rivals may be capable of finishing above them for the first time since the 2012/13 season.
Klopp will want to make sure the club bring in some quality signings before the season kick-offs to prevent this frustration from transpiring onto the pitch in the early stages of the campaign.
Supporters from the Blue section of Merseyside will also feel that their side is due a win against their neighbours. Everton have not beaten Liverpool since the 2010/11 season when Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta scored in a 2-0 win at Goodison Park.
Their record at Anfield is also woeful as they have not claimed three points there since 1999.
Next season could be Everton’s best chance of taking some points off Liverpool and potentially even finishing above them in the league.
As it stands, Liverpool’s squad may struggle with the demands of mid-week European football as well as trying to challenge for the Premier League title.
Everton can solely focus on their league campaign next year and have improved their squad significantly this summer with some quality additions. It will certainly be interesting to see how the Toffees compete next year and whether they can end years of dominance from Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.