The EIGHT Liverpool players already on Klopp’s team sheet NEXT season | Football | Sport
Jurgen Klopp has already made it clear that he will not be spending excessive amounts of cash this summer, as he looks to develop what he’s already assembled at Anfield.
Unless you are being completely cynical, it’s hard to get to grips with where the board could look to improve the squad this summer besides replacing the departing Alberto Moreno and Daniel Sturridge.
Should new faces arrive on Merseyside, which places are up for grabs in the starting eleven next season and who has already nailed down their place in the side?
The big Brazilian has already secured hero status with the Reds after turning in a Man of the Match display against Tottenham at the Wanda Metropolitano.
In the words of Robertson, “just a wee boy from Glasgow living the dream.” He’s not only living the dream, but his relentless energy and remarkable consistency has seen him earmarked as one of the best left-backs in the world.
Two Champions League finals and a World Cup under his belt at the age of 20 years old, there is every chance Alexander-Arnold is a future Liverpool captain and he’s made the right-back position his own.
Virgil van Dijk
In line for a shot at the Ballon d’Or, Van Dijk is the glue that holds the best defence in the Premier League together.
Before he arrived from Southampton, Liverpool were renowned for their defensive frailty, but now their backline is watertight.
His long bandy legs are responsible for covering the hard yards that do not receive the plaudits but he is irreplaceable to Klopp. It’s been a long time since the club have had a top holding midfielder.
Henderson has always been footballing marmite but he’s now treasured by supporters who now understand that his leadership is worth its weight in gold in the dressing room.
Fabinho’s quality has seen the England international move into a more advanced role, where he was been given a new lease of life during the run-in.
Mane shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah last season and became Liverpool’s go-to guy during a period of struggle to keep their campaign on track.
Scoring decisive goals week-on-week, the Senegalese winger is now widely recognised as a world-class player and he’s made it clear he’s here to stay.
Two Golden Boots, PFA Player of the Year and 71 goals in just two seasons at Liverpool. There is growing feeling that their Champions League triumph will be the gateway to more silverware, the Egyptian King would be foolish to walk away now.
What’s up for grabs?
If the season carried on, Joe Gomez would have to watch from the sidelines because Joel Matip has become one of the first names on the team sheet.
The gangly-legged defender was perhaps Liverpool’s unsung player of the season at a time of desperation, after both Gomez and Dejan Lovren were crippled with injuries.
That’s made it easy to forget just how good the England international had been at the start of the campaign, where he formed a formidable partnership with Van Dijk. The pre-season break might just see the tide change at the heart of defence.
With Fabinho and Henderson locking down two of three spots, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Georginio Wijnaldum and Naby Keita will be left to fight it for the final spot.
Oxlade-Chamberlain thrived in the role during Liverpool’s run to the 2017/18 Champions League final in Kiev, before damaging knee ligaments which would see him ruled out for a year. He’ll be ready to return for August.
Keita finally started to show signs of the £52.75million player the Reds signed from RB Leipzig at the end of the season before an adductor injury ruled him out of the season’s climax. An injury free full pre-season could tip the balance in his favour.
Leading the line
For the first time under Klopp’s tenure, Firmino’s place in the side is under threat.
A muscle problem saw his season stagnate and now it’s thought the board could finally sign a prolific striker to provide the Brazilian with further competition. It’s the only standout area in the side where Klopp could look to improve, but he’ll be reluctant to do so given the role Firmino has played over the past three years.
Not only that, but Divock Origi has thrown his hat into the ring with a series of hugely important goals this season against Everton, Newcastle, Barcelona and Tottenham. He’ll be staking a claim for a start and is expected to extend his contract.