How Liverpool could line up next season
Liverpool has expressed a desire to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title next season. The Reds have vowed to spend big. As well as having Naby Keita joining in the summer, they have been heavily linked with a plethora of other stars.
Here’s how Jurgen Klopp’s side could line up by the time the 2018/19 campaign gets underway.
Goalkeeper – Alisson Becker. Current Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius has kept 8 clean sheets in his last 12 games since taking over from the out of favour Simon Mignolet. He will feel particularly hard done by if Alisson arrives at Anfield. Unfortunately for the German, it could be too little too late as the Reds continue to be linked with a move for the Roma star.
Left-back – Andrew Robertson. Although still developing as a player, Robertson has proven a major upgrade on Alberto Moreno. He's managed to show defensive solidity while delivering dangerous crosses that Kevin De Bruyne would be proud of. The Scot will surely keep his place in Liverpool's starting line up next season.
Centre-back – Joel Matip. Though Klopp hasn’t fully decided on who will partner Virgil Van Dijk, using league matches as public auditions for others to prove their worth, it seems Matip is the next best centre-back at Anfield. Unless new additions arrive, the 26-year-old appears the logical choice.
Centre-back – Virgil van Dijk. Since joining from Southampton there’s been a significant improvement in Liverpool’s defence. The Reds of the season's first half, which were unreliable and at times shambolic at the back, seems a thing of the past. After smashing their transfer record to add Van Dijk, as well as the world record for the most expensive defender, they’re building their defence around him.
Right-back – Trent Alexander-Arnold. Another young fullback who has been proving his worth, having kept Nathaniel Clyne out of the team all season. Liverpool’s defence has looked shaky at times, but the youngster has been one of their most solid players at the back, despite his inexperience.
Left-Midfield – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. When the Englishman made the switch from Arsenal, many Reds fans were unsure about the investment Klopp had made. However, the Ox looks like a new player in that central midfield role. He has shown a brilliant attitude, as well as scoring a few crucial, stunning goals.
Centre-Midfield – Jorginho. With Jordan Henderson blowing hot and cold and Emre Can supposedly wanting out, Liverpool are in need of a holding midfielder. Jorginho has been dropping hints towards a Liverpool move, despite interest from Manchester United. If he swapped the Stadio San Paolo for Anfield, he’d surely slip straight into the first team.
Right-Midfield – Naby Keita. Keita will make the move to Anfield on July 1st, with the deal completed last summer for £48M plus an additional £18M premium assuming Liverpool finish in the top 4. The club wouldn’t pay big money unless Can or Henderson’s places in the starting eleven were in danger.
Left-Forward – Sadio Mane. Some have criticized the Senegalese international for not living up to last season's high standards. He's scored only three fewer league goals this campaign, though, while managing to net four more than last season in all competitions. It seems he’s in Salah's shadow at the minute, but Mane is still a valuable asset to Liverpool’s attack.
Right-Forward – Mohamed Salah. Assuming the prolific goal-scorer hasn’t been snapped up by Real Madrid or some other top club for a hefty price tag before next season, there’s no question the Egyptian will be the first name on Liverpool's team sheet. The only question will be whether he can repeat this season’s heroics.
Centre-Forward – Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian has improved his form in front of goal dramatically since August. He is finally beginning to look like a proper striker rather than an attacking midfielder-turned-centre forward. His link-up play with Mane and Salah has been crucial. Firmino could play a key part in any success Liverpool may enjoy next season.