Football

Liverpool could flourish or falter next season

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Liverpool were one of the surprises of the season, coming agonisingly close to winning the title but were just pipped to the post by Manchester City.

However, no Liverpool fan should be in anyway upset with the situation because they showed they are once again a force to be reckoned with, and with the extra revenue from securing a Champions League place they are able to expand and improve their squad to compete again next season.

Brendan Rodgers has been a revelation for Liverpool since he arrived, implementing a new philosophy that focuses more on exciting offensive style rather than the more conservative style other teams tend to prefer.

This summer has the potential to cement Liverpool as title contenders or for them to lose the progress that has taken so long to achieve. With a promised large transfer budget Rodgers can truly make the Liverpool squad his own and will have to prove that he can handle the big money transfers that the club need.

But what areas need to be addressed?

- Mauricio Isla at centre of Liverpool and Arsenal transfer battle
- Real Madrid chase Liverpool ace Raheem Sterling
- Marcos Rojo emerges as Liverpool transfer target

GOALKEEPER AND DEFENCE

GK - Simon Mignolet has been in great form for Liverpool this season finishing with 10 clean sheets which is commendable considering the shaky defending often encountered. Although there were some questionable moments for Mignolet this is his first season with Liverpool, sympathy can be given due to the potential he has shown.

Brad Jones as reserve goalkeeper has proved to be able to perform to an acceptable level but not enough to provide competition to Mignolet as first choice.

RB - Glen Johnson has had a mixed season. At times he has shown his true quality but has also shown to make questionable decisions and has provided gaps in the defensive lines due to his attacking mentality.

Since returning from injuries he has been in good form which is good news for England but his age has to be brought into question. Johnson will be 30 this year and so a replacement must be looked for in the coming transfer windows.

LB - This has been a troubling position for Liverpool with Jose Enrique having injury troubles but it has allowed young Jon Flanagan to show himself as a quality player and a contender to permanently fill either full back position. However, although Flanagan has proven himself capable he lacks the ability to cause defences real problems through technical ability and also has the problem of being truly right footed which could be an issue for a left back.

CB - This position has caused the most issues for the Liverpool team. With Mamadou Sakho and Daniel Agger out with long term injuries the duty was left to Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure.

Skrtel has had a good season for Liverpool with his defensive mishaps countered by his goal scoring ability. Toure, however, has not had a great season. He has performed well in general but has made many mistakes costing valuable points which were sorely needed at the season end.

When Sakho returned from injury he looked promising, performing consistently and showing good potential especially since it is his first season in the Premier League. He looks set to be one of Liverpool's first team centre backs for next season. This is debate over whether who will make up the rest of the partnership, questions arise over whether Skrtel or Agger have enough quality to remain a part of the set-up.

MIDFIELD

CDM - The idea to move Steven Gerrard into this deeper position has proved a masterstroke by Brendan Rodgers. It has allowed Gerrard to control the game and move the ball to where it is most effective and compliments Liverpool's new found style very well.

However the back up to this role is questionable. Lucas Leiva has yet shown the discipline needed to play this role on his own and also does not possess the playmaker skills needed to replace Gerrard. Lucas does not seem to have found his place in the new system and so the question is raised over whether he will still be a Liverpool player next season.

Joe Allen has shown glimpses of his potential in the system but it still developing and so the best is surely yet to come. However, Allen suffers from the same deficiency that is found with Lucas, he is also not a playmaker.

But Allen does seem to be compatible with the Liverpool style, he has an impressive talent with closing the ball down and making crucial interceptions and so provides an interesting alternative to Gerrard. Due to Gerrard's age there is a great need for a replacement soon as he will not be able to play every match and other arrangements will have to be made.

CM - There is only one true centre midfielder within the Liverpool squad at the moment - Jordan Henderson. Henderson has emerged into an important part of the Liverpool set-up due to his passing ability and his work rate; he has proven that he works well with Gerrard which has led to a place in the England squad.

However, due to there only being one true centre midfielder it means that Liverpool have to choose between an attacking midfielder or a defensive one.

CAM - I have decided to place Raheem Sterling in this section due to his dazzling performances at the top of the diamond formation in the latter part of the season. Sterling has shown great maturity and has been one of Liverpool's most influential players.

The other attacking midfielder is Philippe Coutinho who has shown incredible ability and has truly flourished under Rodgers and for a fee of £8.5 million it has proved a great bargain. However, like other position there is a need for great depth in this position especially due to the qualification of the Champions League.

RW/LW - Sterling could also fit into this category quite easily but there is not anyone else who has the potential for a first team place. Young Jordan Ibe shows a great deal of promise but it is unlikely for him to be able to perform consistently at a high level. Therefore once again greater squad depth is needed.

FORWARDS

ST - The partnership of Sturridge and Suarez has been proven deadly this season finishing the top two goalscorers in the Premier League. However, there is question of whether Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto have the ability to replace Sturridge or Suarez for whatever reason. Rodgers must therefore make a choice, to have faith in Aspas and Alberto or to delve into the transfer market in order to find someone new.

THE VERDICT

Liverpool has a young squad that is brimming with potential and so must be developed carefully but Rodgers seems the man for the job. With the purchase of a few top quality players Liverpool will be able to build on their success of this year and challenge for the title once more.

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Topics:
Football
Liverpool
Premier League

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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