The 2019/20 season was all very much about Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were imperious as they built upon their Champions League success by winning the Club World Cup and Premier League title.
It was their first league crown in 30 years, ending decades of hurt at Anfield.
When Klopp first walked through the door, the side was littered with deadwood, but he worked his way through it and ultimately built a squad that’s capable of beating the very best in world football.
The German has taken the Reds from a club in freefall and completely transformed them. He deserves plenty of plaudits for his methods and ideas but he still has plenty of work to do this summer.
If there was one area to criticise Liverpool, it would be their lack of depth.
Cast your eyes to Manchester City and they regularly rotate in attack, so much so that they can quite happily keep Bernardo Silva on the pitch.
In Merseyside, they look well set for the future with players like Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliot. Though, they don’t particularly have too many influential members on the fringe of things that could challenge for a first-team spot.
It’s thought that Liverpool will need to add a few bodies in the summer, but before they do, what might happen those on the outskirts of the starting XI?
Here we assess the potential eventualities…
Adrian – keep: The Spaniard has just a year left on his current deal at Anfield but there is no need to get rid of him. At times, the stopper looks top notch but in the very next game, he could make an absolute howler. His inconsistency means he’s never really had a chance to usurp Alisson but that’s no surprise – he one of the best goalkeepers in world football. Liverpool may as well keep him for now.
Caoimhin Kelleher – loan: The young Irishman played four times for the Reds this season but conceded ten goals in the process. Most of those came in the Carabao Cup against Arsenal so it’s hard to judge his qualities. A loan move would probably be of benefit for the 21-year-old.
Joel Matip – keep: Matip’s form was questionable heading into the 2019/20 campaign but he’s established himself as an effective man to partner the great Virgil van Dijk. With Dejan Lovren departing they need more depth in defence and Matip has become a pretty reliable figure. At 28, he is also in his prime.
Ki-Jana Hoever – loan: The Dutchman scored his first goal for the club this season, racking up three appearances in the cup competitions in the process. A player with a bright future, it’s unlikely he’ll get too much action in 2020/21. Hoever will be 19 in January and is surely in need of some more senior experience.
Sepp van den Berg – keep: The eye-catching defender hasn’t long been at Liverpool and thus, needs some more time to really bed in and get used to his surroundings. Signed last term at the age of just 17, there isn’t really any need for a loan quite yet – he’s better off developing in the academy first.
Neco Williams – keep: One of the stars of the academy system, Williams is clearly rated highly at Anfield. The teenager played six times in the Premier League this term, earning a winners medal in the process. Capable of playing at right-back, a role where Liverpool’s depth is limited, he could offer good back-up to Trent Alexander-Arnold next term.
Naby Keita – keep: The midfielder may not have lit up the top-flight since signing a couple of years ago but at the age of just 25, he has plenty to give and offer to Klopp. Van Dijk admitted this week that Keita is a world-class player. A healthy fee might be recouped from selling but it’s not as though the Reds need the money.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – keep: The former Arsenal man has had a troubled spell at Anfield and hasn’t really been able to recover his form after sustaining a long-term injury. The Ox bagged some important goals in 2018/19, something which has potentially been forgotten about. He isn’t the £40m star Liverpool paid for but he’s still a very useful squad player.
Xherdan Shaqiri – sell: His spell at Liverpool will surely come to an end this summer. The Swiss featured just ten times all season, of which three outings were starts. On his day, he is magnificent but he bagged once all term – he really isn’t good enough for the best team in the country.
Curtis Jones – keep: The most impressive young player on the books of Liverpool at the moment, barring Alexander-Arnold, is Jones. The 19-year-old midfielder started his first league outing after the restart and is growing as a player all the time, bagging three times for the first-team in ten matches. He is sure to get better.
Harvey Elliott – keep: It’s remarkable to think the teenager is still only 17 – he already feels like he’s been around for ages. Regular senior football could be on the horizon but he needs to remain patient. Elliott played just seven minutes of Premier League action in 2019/20 but is certainly highly thought of.
Harry Wilson – sell: At the age of 23, it’s time for Wilson to get himself out of Liverpool. Relegated with Bournemouth, he bagged seven times but in truth, for the much of the campaign, he was fairly average. At Anfield, he’d be nothing more than a rotation option.
Marko Grujic- sell: The Serbian contributed to six goals in the Bundesliga on loan at Hertha Berlin this season but has regularly been linked with a move away. If Liverpool can fetch a decent fee for him then he’ll surely be one of the first out the exit door.
Takumi Minamino – keep: The Japan international has barely kicked a ball since signing in January but deserves more time to prove himself. He is only 25.
Divock Origi – keep: Origi’s contract doesn’t expire for another four years and in recent times, he’s become an incredibly valuable player for the Reds. The Belgian scored some vitally important goals against Everton, Barcelona and also in the Champions League final last term – he is the perfect back-up for Klopp and Liverpool.
Rhian Brewster – keep: Another hugely impressive rising star at Liverpool, Brewster unfortunately crashed out of the Championship play-offs during his loan spell with Swansea. A player with an immense future, hopefully, Liverpool fan finally work him into their plans next term. He scored 11 times for the Swans.
Sheyi Ojo – sell: Ojo is an exciting talent but at the age of 23 should really move on for the good of his career. His time with Rangers proved he isn’t up to the task of becoming an elite player and as such, he should be moved on. Liverpool need to be ruthless with some of their fringe players this summer.
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