After the highs of 2021/22 which almost culminated in a historic quadruple, Liverpool endured a miserable 2022/23 although a strong end to the season has established a hint of optimism heading into the summer.
Jurgen Klopp’s men rallied to finish fifth and will compete in the Europa League after many tipped them for another title tilt.
The club has several key areas to address this summer with midfield being the overwhelming priority. Klopp will not want to endure another season like 2022/23 and the Reds are expected to be very busy in the market.
Here’s how Liverpool could line up for the 2023/24 season.
GK: Alisson – The best goalkeeper in the Premier League was, without question, Liverpool’s star man last season. His place between the sticks couldn’t be more secure heading into 2023/24.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – The revolutionary right-back’s productive end to the season coincided with a role change which facilitated his advancement into midfield areas. His performances for England in June only bolstered the notion that his future may lie further up the pitch, and we’ll surely see him in a more metronomic role come the start of next season.
CB: Virgil van Dijk – The Dutchman may no longer boast the imperious aura of his apex and he certainly wasn’t at his best in 2022/23. However, whether last season was a mere blip or the start of Van Dijk’s decline remains to be seen.
CB: Ibrahima Konate – A strong case could be made for Konate currently being Liverpool’s best centre-back. Thus, the Reds were hampered by his injury woes last season. The club are expected to test the centre-back waters this summer and have been linked with Wolsburg’s Micky van de Ven, but Van Dijk and Konate should be the favoured partnership.
LB: Andy Robertson – The ever-reliable Robertson was a bright spark for the Reds amid their troubled 2022/23 and his status as Liverpool’s starting left-back isn’t in question.
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DM: Fabinho – The Brazilian’s time at the club looked to be coming to an end for much of 2022/23, but Klopp’s structure change which brought Trent into midfield aided Fabinho and he enjoyed a strong end to the season. Liverpool could make three additions to their engine room this summer, but Klopp will surely want a hint of familiarity.
CM: Khephren Thuram – One of those players in Thuram, who can operate at the base of midfield and in a more enterprising box-to-box role. The Reds have been relentlessly linked with a move for the Nice midfielder, but a deal isn’t expected to be struck until after the U21 European Championships. Nicolo Barella, Federico Valverde, and Aurelien Tchouameni are other names reportedly on the club’s radar, but Thuram appears the easiest and most realistic deal to pull off.
CM: Alexis Mac Allister – The World Cup winner was the Liverpool’s first signing of the summer and is set to become a cornerstone of the next iteration of Klopp’s Reds. The all-action Argentine could perform a role similar to Georginio Wijnaldum at Anfield.
RW: Mohamed Salah – Salah vented his frustrations after Liverpool finished 2022/23 in fifth, writing he was ‘totally devastated’ on Twitter. The post sparked rumours of a potential departure with Saudi clubs recently linked, but Salah is expected to stay on Merseyside and help the club enjoy a bounce-back year.
ST: Cody Gakpo – Replacing Roberto Firmino is not going to be an easy task, but Gakpo, who joined the club in January, impressed down the stretch and he’ll likely take the mantle from the Brazilian. The Dutchman, who ended the season with seven Premier League goals, will perform a function similar to Firmino at Anfield.
LW: Luis Diaz – The winger’s impact at the club was immediate midway through Liverpool’s majestic 2021/22 season and his long-term absence was hard-felt last term. A knee injury ruled Diaz out for six months, but he did return before the season’s end and started four league games down the stretch. While it may take more time for Diaz to return to his scintillating best, he should be ahead of Darwin Nunez in the depth chart come the start of next season.
On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Toby Cudworth is joined by Graeme Bailey and Sean Walsh to discuss the latest transfer news. On the agenda is Arsenal’s approach for Jurrien Timber, Kai Havertz and Declan Rice, the exodus of Chelsea players to Saudi Arabia, Moises Caicedo, Kyle Walker, Man Utd’s goalkeeper plans & more!
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