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How Liverpool's line-up could look at the start of next season

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Football News

This summer is very important for Liverpool.

The Reds qualified for the Champions League by finishing in the top four for just the second time in seven seasons.

Champions League qualification brings with it increased finances and the ability to lure top quality players with the prospect of playing in Europe’s elite competition - despite the fact Liverpool have to play a playoff qualifier in August.

And Jurgen Klopp will know he simply has to strengthen this summer in order to compete in Europe - and to close the 17-point gap to Chelsea at the top of the table next time around.

And the German has wasted no time in chasing his transfer target.

Liverpool are seemingly close to securing deals for Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.

But how could Liverpool line-up come the first day of next season?

Let’s take a look:

Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet

Simon Mignolet finished the season brilliantly and helped the Reds pip Arsenal to fourth. His late save from Saido Berahino during Liverpool’s 2-1 victory against Stoke in April was massive and he deserves to remain the club’s number one next season.

Right back: Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne has been a solid right-back for Liverpool during the last two seasons. While he will keep his place next season, he will need to improve offensively if he is to remain in Klopp’s XI.

Centre back: Virgil van Dijk

It looks as though Virgil van Dijk will choose Liverpool over Manchester City and Chelsea this summer. If he does, it will be a massive boost to the club to beat Guardiola’s City and champions Chelsea to the £60 million-rated defender.

Centre back: Joel Matip

Joel Matip arrived on a free transfer last summer and is likely to get the nod ahead of Dejan Lovren to partner Van Dijk.

Left back: Andrew Robertson

James Milner did a decent enough job at left back but Klopp will surely bring a natural left-sided defender this summer.

That could be Hull’s Andrew Robertson - who was relegated with The Tiger’s this season. He would come on the cheap and would rival Milner - or possibly Alberto Moreno - for a left back spot.

Centre midfield: Naby Keita

Liverpool have been heavily linked with the Red Bull Leipzig midfielder throughout this summer. However, the 22-year-old box-to-box midfielder could cost as much as £50 million. With doubts over Jordan Henderson's injury problems, Naby Keita could arrive at Anfield.

Centre midfield: Philippe Coutinho

It’s likely that Philippe Coutinho will be used in a slightly deeper role by Klopp next season - which we saw during his incredible performance against West Ham towards in the penultimate match of the season.

Centre midfield: Georginio Wijnaldum

There is plenty of competition for the third midfield spot. However, Georginio Wijnaldum could get the nod ahead of Emre Can, Henderson and Adam Lallana due to his work-rate and defensive ability.

Playing Lallana alongside Keita and Coutinho would be far too attacking, while there are still injury doubts over captain Henderson.

Can will consider himself unlucky to be on the bench, but Wijanldum is more consistent and pop up with vital goals - only at home, though!

Winger: Sadio Mane

Liverpool fans will be delighted to learn there will be no African Cup of Nations this season. The prospect of having Sadio Mane for the entire campaign is very exciting - as long as he doesn’t pick up another serious injury like he did towards the end of last season.

Winger: Mohamed Salah

Liverpool could have signed Mohamed Salah in 2013 for just £11 million - only for Chelsea to steal him from their clutches.

Now, the Reds look set to sign him for somewhere in the region of £40 million.

He has been mightily impressive for Roma during the previous two seasons, though, and would add great balance with Mane on the opposite flank.

Forward: Roberto Firmino

While Roberto Firmino is important to Jurgen Klopp’s system with his intelligent pressing, the Brazilian needs to be more prolific in front of goal.

He only scored 11 goals in 35 Premier League matches last season and Klopp could be tempted to bring in a natural goalscorer this summer.

Liverpool have been linked with Leipzig’s Timo Werner but it’s likely Firmino will keep his place.

Substitutes: Lloris Karius, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Emre Can, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Daniel Sturridge

Other options: Divock Origi, Ben Woodburn, James Milner, Lucas Leiva, Ragnar Klavan, Alberto Moreno, Marko Grujic Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, Dominic Solanke

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Jordan Henderson
Philippe Coutinho
Nathaniel Clyne

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