Liverpool’s terrible season continued into the New Year as the defeat to Fulham consigned Jurgen Klopp’s to a sixth consecutive defeat at Anfield.
At the start of the year, the Reds sat top of the Premier League but a run of just three wins in 12 matches has seen them drop to 8th. They now look nothing like the team that broke numerous records last season.
Injuries are partly to blame but the problems run way deeper than that. Players look burned out and unmotivated, Jurgen Klopp has cut a frustrated figure all season and the squad lacks quality depth in key areas.
Liverpool’s Terrible Start to New Year Continues in Defeat to Fulham
The Reds on a Slippery Slope Downhill in New Year
Liverpool’s squad was widely known as one of the best in the league but not because of its depth. The Champions’ attack and defence have remained largely unchanged for the last three years which has caused issues to fitness and form due to fatigue. The Reds must improve based on the template to a perfect squad and pick out the targets they should sign.
When fully fit, Liverpool’s defence is arguably the best in the division but on current form, it struggles to pass the ball out from the back and the struggling champions have to resort to a long ball.
With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez likely needing to be managed when they return next season, Liverpool needs to find a reliable top-class centre-back who can offer the same ball-playing qualities. Even if Ozan Kabak is signed another centre-back is necessary due to the unreliability and age of Joel Matip.
Kostas Tsimikas has struggled with fitness this season and has taken longer than expected to settle in England. But the Greek international remains a solid back-up to Andrew Robertson.
Young stars like Neco Williams has struggled at times and was targeted by League One Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup so may benefit from a loan. Liverpool needs a new right-back to challenge Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Keep, Sell, or Loan
- Alisson – Keep
- Adrian – End of contract
- Caoimhin Kelleher – Keep
- Kamil Grabara – Sell
- Marcelo Pitaluga – Keep
- Jakub Ojrzynski – loan
- Virgil Van Dijk – Keep
- Trent Alexander-Arnold – Keep
- Andrew Robertson – Keep
- Ozan Kabak – Sign
- Joe Gomez – Keep
- Joel Matip – Sell
- Kostas Tsimkas – Keep
- Neco Williams – Loan
- Ben Davies – Sell
- Rhys Williams – Loan
The Reds needs a new homegrown goalkeeper to either be their backup or third choice. A candidate would be Fraser Forster. The former England international is approaching the end of his career but can still provide solid backup to Alisson. Forster would replace Adrian, who took up a foreign player place in Liverpool’s squad, so would allow Liverpool to sign another foreign player.
If Joel Matip departs, Liverpool will need a new supporting a new centre-back. Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car is the perfect option. He’s good on the ball and despite being just 24 years of age, he has over 200 senior appearances. At right-back, the Reds need a back up to Alexander-Arnold. Kyle Walker-Peters should be under consideration, the former Tottenham player is having his best season yet at Southampton and has the potential to become the first choice eventually if Liverpool decides to move Alexander-Arnold into midfield.
Liverpool’s midfield needs a real refresh. The lack of quality depth has been exposed when Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have had to deputise in defence. With Curtis Jones, the only under-25 option in the middle of the park, an injection of youth is desperately needed in Liverpool’s engine room. Liverpool has continued their terrible season into the New Year as their levels have dropped since the injuries. A revamp in the summer is needed if they are to hunt for glory in the future.
Keep, Sell, Or Loan
- Thiago Alcantara – Keep
- Naby Keita – Keep
- Georginio Wijnaldum – End of Contract
- Fabinho – Keep
- Xherdan Shaqiri – Sell
- Jordan Henderson – Keep
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Sell
- James Milner – Sell
- Curtis Jones – Keep
- Marko Grujic – Sell
- Harvey Elliot – Loan
- Harry Wilson – Sell
Liverpool’s midfield needs a serious makeover so the departure of four underperforming players means some can come in. If Liverpool misses out on the Champions League, Udinese‘s Rodrigo De Paul should be a marquee signing. The creative midfielder’s ten goals and as many assists, this season is exactly the attacking output the Reds have been missing. Yves Bissouma will provide some much-needed depth in defensive-midfield and means Thiago Alcantara can play in his natural position often. Seven players for three midfield roles should give Liverpool enough flexibility to confuse opponents but Leighton Clarkson and Jake Cain provide decent options from the academy.
When compared to title rivals Manchester City, Liverpool’s attack is thin on numbers and quality. Only Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota have done themselves justice and Divock Origi is still searching for a league goal this season.
The Reds possess several quality youth strikers including Layton Stewart and Robert Glatzel so Origi and Takumi Minamino could be allowed to depart to promote the youngsters.
The connection between Sadio Mane and Salah has gone completely. It’s been over a year since Mane assisted Salah for a goal and Salah last assisted the Senegal international in November’s 5-0 win over Atalanta. New attackers are needed, either to complement Salah or get Mane firing again.
Keep, Sell, Or Loan
- Sadio Mane – Keep
- Mohamed Salah – Keep
- Roberto Firmino – Keep but demote to backup
- Diogo Jota – Keep
- Divock Origi – Sell
- Takumi Minamino – Sell
- Taiwo Awoniyi – Sell
Roberto Firmino is underperforming and Liverpool needs a new striker. Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe are obvious options but the lack of Champions League football may see them look elsewhere. If so then Liverpool could look to sign Raphinha from Leeds United or Pedro Neto from Wolverhampton Wanderers and then Oliver Giroud could be a plan B from the free-agent market.
Liverpool’s Revamped Squad
Goalkeepers: Alisson, Fraser Forster, Caoimhin Kelleher, Marcelo Pitaluga
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker-Peters, Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Duje Caleta-Car, Ozan Kabak, Andrew Robertson, Kostas Tsimkas
Midfielders: Rodrigo De Paul, Yves Bissouma, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita, Curtis Jones
Attackers: Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, Raphinha, Pedro Neto, Oliver Giroud
FSG Must Spend To Maintain Liverpool Success
The past two years have been Liverpool’s most successful years in the past 30. This season’s extreme drop-off can be put down to injuries but even if Liverpool returns to its best next season, the age of key players means Liverpool must spend money to remain a challenger over the next five years.
This means FSG must spend money without necessarily getting it back in sales something they are yet to do. FSG must decide how successful they want Liverpool to be and spend accordingly.
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