Liverpool have already added some fresh faces to the club but where do we still need to strengthen and what positions are we possibly to stacked in?
Liverpool has goalkeepers a plenty right now, Mignolet and new signing Karius are vying for the first team place with one destined to be sat on the bench. This was a void that Liverpool really needed to improve as Mignolet needed somebody to at least put the pressure on him, or even replace depending on the Liverpool fan that you speak to. Danny Ward, who is the third choice now, has recently signed a new long term deal at Liverpool but will be loaned out to Huddesfield in the championship for the season and Liverpool are heavily rumoured to be signing 39 year old Alex Manninger who would be the third choice for the coming season if signed. This then means that Bogdan has no future at Liverpool despite featuring in the Reds preseason friendly against Tranmere for 45 minutes and has been heavily touted to move to Wigan in the coming days.
Verdict: Liverpool has plenty of options in this position but with the departures of Ward and Bogdan a third choice could be important to get wrapped up.
This is a position where Liverpool does need to strengthen as the lack of depth in these positions is risky to say the least going into the upcoming season. Nathaniel Clyne was signed last summer and he made the most appearances of any Liverpool player last season making over 50 appearances in his debut season due to the lack of options to even rest him. He had a fantastic season but we were lucky he never got injured last season as Randall would of had to come in if that was the case. Flanagan is back now and hopefully gets a full preseason of playing football as he has been badly missed and he would fill the void of being clyne’s understudy if he can stay fit. On the left side of the defence we have the much criticised Alberto Moreno who hasn’t massively impressed since signing two years ago, his attacking prowess is unquestionable as he was by the far the most creative full back in the Premier league last season but it is his defensive work where he is often found out of position and lacking the intelligence to play this position as he is caught out on a consistent basis. His tackling is rash, he often loses out to stronger players but he does have the pace to help him out at times. If Klopp can curb his erratic defending there is no doubting he would be a fantastic first choice it’s just whether Moreno can learn to defend better. With Moreno’s understudy being either Flanagan, again, or Brad Smith the options in this position is not that strong. Brad Smith is very similar to Moreno where he is very good offensively but his positioning and overall defending is poor.
Verdict: I’m overall happy with the two first choices in Clyne and Moreno, but we at least need another good left back to be able to challenge Moreno on the left side. Flanagan is a very good understudy for Clyne providing he can keep himself fit this season.
This is a area where Liverpool have struggled in for years but there was a improvement at the end of the season when Sakho and Lovren built up a strong partnership which helped us in some big games and fantastic wins. With the signing of Joel Matip as well who impressed in the Bundesliga for a number of years he looks a real bargain as a free transfer and adds more height to our side which is needed. On the other hand though Martin Skrtel is set to leave the club for Besiktas in the coming days and Kolo Toure has been released as Liverpool let his contract run down so we have three very good centre backs but not a awful lot of depth. Lucas can drop in their as he proved last season at times but this isn’t ideal as his lack of height is a real problem and Joe Gomez is coming back from a serious injury so we can’t expect too much from his this coming season but no doubt he is a big prospect. With the news that Sakho could at least miss the first game of the coming season and all of pre-season we really could do with another centre back but just to add more depth to this position.
Verdict: Like the other positions we are good for the first choice in these positions but there is a lack of depth in this position as well. I wouldn’t say this is a priority position but we do need a further look at this position.
We are well stocked in this area of midfield but there is a certain lack of quality in this area. Emre Can, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen are all good players vying for two positions but not other than Can are guaranteed a starting position and we could do with more of a creative and ball playing central midfielder. There are doubts as to whether Henderson is good enough to start for Liverpool, Milner had a fantastic season but isn’t the answer, Lucas has been losing his legs to play this position for a couple of years now and is to similar to Can and Allen is expected to leave the club after a fantastic Euro campaign but he isn’t really creative enough to get into our side so as you can see we could do with signed a midfielder with good quality and being able to link up well with the attackers in our side.
Verdict: There is a lack of quality in this area of the pitch but there is a lot of strength in this position so maybe a couple of players might need to be sold before we sign in this area otherwise we will have to many players vying for two places.
Liverpool are well stacking in this position, we have Coutinho, Lallana and Firmino who are all fantastic players and have good quality about them. With the formation varying we don’t know how many attacking midfielders will start next season but Coutinho and Firmino are the certain starters next season with most likely Lallana being the depth in these positions. Milner can play in this position as well adding more depth so really we are well covered in this position.
Verdict: No players are really needed to sign here as we have sufficient cover and talented players here. Coutinho and Firmino both got double figures in goals last season so in hindsight the signing of Gotze would of been a baffling as it wasn’t a position that we really needed.
Liverpool really struggled for pace and width last season as we played a 4-2-3-1 formation mostly with three attacking midfielders behind the striker. We played Coutinho and Lallana on the ‘wings’ but they cut inside most of the time with the width coming from the fullbacks in Clyne and Moreno. Sadio Mane has signed and he is just what we need, maybe we overpaid but you do in football nowadays, he suits Klopp perfectly as he presses and works hard but his biggest strength will be when we are on the counter and he will use his pace to devastating effects. The problem with playing two attacking midfielders as wingers is they don’t run in behind the defence they will come short to the ball making us more predictable to play against. With the signing of Mane we have real pace and more players running in behind. Markovic has also come back to the club after a season long loan at Fenerbache and although he looks short of confidence he could be a good backup option for Mane, albeit Klopp looks likely to sell him as he doesn’t seem like he’s a fan of the Serbian. Jordan Ibe couldn’t get a game last season with no wingers in the team and seems destined to be off to Bournemouth in the coming days for 15million and hasn’t filled the potential that he had.
Verdict: If Markovic stays then we are most likely good for this position, but with Mane heading off to the African cup of nations in January for a minimum of three games then we could do with some better options in this position as Markovic doesn’t seem like he will make the grade so another winger could be useful but not a priority as Lallana with come back in to the side if Mane is injured, out of form or at the African Cup of nations.
This area is up for debate, we have a fantastic first choice in Sturridge but can he stay fit is the biggest problem. We then have Origi who impressed last season towards the end of the season and the returning Ings who again impressed at the start of the season before an injury ended his season. Benteke is likely to leave for a big money and with one striking position available as Klopp likes to play with one striker then we have three good strikers. But can we trust Sturridge to stay fit for the majority of the season is the question and if not maybe we need another option just in case but this probably isn’t a priority again.