Pre season is officially underway and it’s at this time of year when most football fans are understandably feeling as optimistic as ever. I’m especially optimistic because Liverpool’s squad is beginning to look seriously strong, and the best thing about it is that we haven’t yet finished strengthening for the summer.

For the first time in a while, our squad looks very balanced and if you were to try to predict our player of the season for next year, it wouldn’t be as easy as it has been in recent years. In the past few seasons it was all about two men, Gerrard and Torres, but now the candidates stretch across the entire squad. Now when predicting our main man for next season, names such as Meireles, Suarez, Carroll, Kuyt, Lucas, Reina and even Charlie Adam can be thrown into the mix. Steven Gerrard will of course be up there due to the ridiculously high standards he’s set for himself while our brand new acquisition, Stewart Downing has the attributes to be Liverpool’s dark horse next year.

If I have to narrow down the list of potential stars for next season, I’d put it down to two players, Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez. Gerrard himself would admit that he hasn’t been at his absolute best in the past two seasons and after being out injured since March, he’ll be itching to be on the pitch again. I can see our skipper returning to something near his best form next season and if the rest of the squad can keep up with him, Liverpool can definitely surprise a few people during the 2011/2012 campaign.

If Gerrard doesn’t end up being our most influential player next season then I can see only one other man taking that title, Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan is simply mesmerising at times and I can’t imagine what he is capable of doing in a full season in the Premiership. His game intelligence, technique and acceleration are some of the main reasons why he is currently one of the best players in the league, and I believe that in a year’s time, he will have established himself as the best forward in England.

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