Pre-season has started, fans are looking forward to the new season ahead. The ongoing saga of whether or not Liverpool will be bringing Naby Keita or Virgil Van Dijk into their ranks seems to be going on and on. I am not in the know or ever pretend to be, and until I see it confirmed on the official Liverpool site then I will remain pessimistic about it. However, as I write this we do know we have two acquisitions in forward, Dominic Solanke and wide man Mohammad Salah. As the current playing squad looks, one thing we do know is that there are players now in the squad with genuine pace, and players who I am sure can play in the high tempo, high pressing that Jurgen Klopp is renowned for.
Looking at the squad I foresee Liverpool playing in a number of potential formations, but as it stands I see Liverpool mainly look at a 4-2-3-1 formation, with a standard back four, with Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner playing in the wide roles, looking to support the attack whenever possible. With full backs looking to push on and the way Liverpool like to play, I see the two central midfielders being vitally important. Again, as stands, I see Jordan Henderson with Emre Can or Georginio Wijnaldum playing in those roles. Then in front of those two, Sadio Mane in a wide role, Phillipe Coutinho in a more central role than last season and then either Salah or Adam Lallana on the other side, with Roberto Firmino being the furthest player forward.
With these players, then Liverpool have genuine pace in Salah and Mane, real speed merchants, and when Liverpool don’t have the ball players such as Firmino, Lallana, Henderson, Can and Wijnaldum all are athletes who can press and advance on opposing players quickly, hopefully gaining back possession quickly, and freeing Coutinho in areas of the pitch on the counter attack, where he can damage most teams if not all, in the world.
I do have concerns over the fact at the moment, Liverpool has not strengthened in the goalkeeper or defence departments, which I hope is rectified before the season starts. Liverpool is looking to challenge on a number of fronts next season, and in my view, even with the acquisitions on the attacking front, for Liverpool to make a serious tilt at major competitions, they need to have a stronger rear guard. There is still time though, and I am sure Klopp and others at the club are working hard behind the scenes to get the right people, at the right price, who want to play for this iconic club and be part of Liverpool’s resurgence back to the top.
It’s going to be an interesting six weeks or so before the transfer window ends, let’s just all keep our fingers crossed.