It’s difficult to know what to expect from Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool this season.
In the 2018/19 season, the Reds finished on an incredible 97 points losing just once all season. It still wasn’t enough to see them win their first ever Premier League title.
The following campaign they picked up two more points as they finished on a tally of 99, strolling to the title with ease.
But their title defence didn’t go to plan last season, picking up just 69 points. However, that was enough to scrap a third-place finish on the final day of the season and qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Will they challenge for the title once again in 2021/22 or is finishing in the top-four the best they can hope for yet again?
Time will tell but the club have already moved to improve their defensive options after injuries plagued their back-line.
Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip missed much of last season but the arrival of Ibrahima Konate, as well as the three aforementioned defenders returning to full fitness, means they shouldn’t have those problems this time around.
While there were problems at the heart of defence, full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold were consistent in their appearance.
Robertson played all 38 matches and can claim to have had a decent season. Alexander-Arnold missed just two games but he had a difficult campaign overall.
The right-back came in for plenty of criticism for his defensive deficiencies and was even dropped from the England squad in March. He finished the season strongly and was named in his country’s provisional Euro 2020 only to withdraw through injury.
While his countrymen reached the final of the tournament before losing on penalties to Italy, Alexander-Arnold was working hard to prove all of his doubters wrong ahead of the new season.
How do we know that?
Well, having seen images of the 22-year-old in pre-season training, many Liverpool supporters can’t believe the transformation in body appearance. Alexander-Arnold looks to have bulked up over the summer and it’s taken many by surprise.
The defender made his Liverpool debut as a skinny 18-year-old and, while puberty has no doubt helped, he appears to have worked hard in the gym to become stronger and more physical.
Earlier in pre-season, Liverpool's assistant manager, Pep Lijnders, praised Alexander-Arnold's attitude and claimed he's a future captain.
“I’m so proud of Trent. He was this natural technical talent when he was just 15 years old,” Lijnders told the club’s official website.
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“He had all the characteristics I loved: a mentality to win, passionate to improve but his emotions sometimes took control instead of him taking control over the emotions. He trained with so much power and competition.
“He grew step by step into the wonderful guy he is now, surrounded by a lovely family, he created this superb personality. He has this aggression in a positive way.
“If someone represents this quote of Bill Shankly it’s him: ‘playing at the highest level isn’t pressure, it’s a reward’.
I still see the same fire in his eyes in each training, but I don’t see this young guy anymore; I see a leader, I see someone who controls his emotions, a future captain. A leader by example.
“The best clubs have one thing in common, a ‘one club’ mentality. The culture spreads through all departments. It’s great that our talents, the real ones, can make these steps together with our team.”News Now - Sport News