Liverpool FC managed to end their 30-year wait for the English top-flight league trophy this 2019-20 season, showing ample signs that the team is in no mood to fade away any time soon. Jurgen Klopp’s men finished the 2019-20 Premier League season with a club-record 99 points and lost just three games in the campaign. Doing so, they finished 18 points ahead of their closest rivals Manchester City and were the best team in the league by a country mile.
‘Mentality giants’ as the gaffer calls them, Liverpool have now won four trophies since the German took over in October 2015. They are back on their perch and it’ll take some doing to knock them off this time around. However, it’s imperative that Liverpool should strengthen their squad whilst they are at the top. So how can Liverpool further improve for the next season? Let’s try helping Klopp and his Red Army out.
NEED TO FIND BACKUPS FOR THE MAGNIFICENT FRONT THREE
It’s been three years now that the famous front three of Liverpool – Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have been playing together and destroying the opposition defences. The trio has scored 250 combined goals under Klopp and is devastating with the way they link up with each other. Still, the workload on these players is a lot. Even if one of them gets injured, Liverpool looks like a completely different team.
The squad doesn’t have enough backups ready for these players. Divock Origi has scored some critical goals for the Reds but he is just not at the same level currently. Takumi Minamino joined the team in January and is struggling to find his feet in the system Liverpool deploys. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain prefers to be in the midfield and it seems like his days playing on the wings are behind him.
So, Liverpool are in dire need of strengthening this department. It’s difficult to find quality players who are content with being on the bench for most of the games. So does the answer lie in the current players who are out on loan? Rhian Brewster has had a successful loan spell with Championship team Swansea and is looking to extend his time at the Welsh club. Harry Wilson scored seven times for Bournemouth in the Premier League this season and can provide Klopp with an option if need be. It’ll be fascinating to see how the German looks to address this issue.
THE MIDFIELD LACKS CREATIVITY
The current Liverpool midfield is workmen-like and lacks the creativity to be called world-class. Their job is to strengthen the defensive areas of the pitch, bully the opposition players and press like mad men. Jordan Henderson, who won the Football Writers Player of the Season award, is the epitome of what Klopp demands from his midfielders. He more often than not takes up positions on the pitch which give the right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold license to be way up the pitch and display his creativity.
Naby Keita was bought as the club’s record signing in 2018 from RB Leipzig but unfortunately, he has had a stroke of wretched luck with injuries. At the back end of this season, he showed what a fit and firing Keita is capable of achieving for Liverpool. Young local boy Curtis Jones has impressed every time he has taken the field for the Reds and looks ready to up his game if need be. There are also talks that Liverpool are interested in Bayern Munich’s midfielder Thiago Alcantara. He could be exactly the kind of player this team needs and looks like a perfect match if the deal was to go through.
TIME TO STRENGTHEN THE DEFENCE
With just 33 goals against them in the previous season, Liverpool were the team with the best defensive record in their league. Their full-backs, Andrew Robertson and Alexander-Arnold had 12 and 13 assists, respectively, in the season, the kind of number which is unreal for full-backs to achieve. They have revolutionized the role of a full-back and are equally good defensively.
The young player from the academy, Neco Williams seems like more than a handy backup for Trent but the left-back cover is missing from the squad. More often than not, they have to rely on the ever-dependable James Milner to do a job but if a long injury was to sideline Robertson, then Klopp would have a serious problem to address. A cover at left-back and replacing Dejan Lovren, who has recently moved to Zenit Saint Petersburg, is a must for Liverpool in the summer.
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