As fans are prone to do this time of year, there’s a lot of anxiety around Liverpool’s roster and options within the squad. A rare occurrence, most fans can agree that when it comes to goalkeepers, defenders, and attackers, this Liverpool squad is about as settled as you can imagine. Midfield, however, is another story.
Seemingly every press conference, Jurgen Klopp is asked about the market and the possibility that Liverpool will again move for a player this summer. After the arrival of Darwin Nunez, Fabio Carvalho, and young fullback Calvin Ramsay, all the business appears to be done. And as you might expect, this has a lot of fans feeling anxious.
Knowing that Klopp and the club are admirers of Jude Bellingham isn’t helping. His 100 million euro price tag and Dortmund’s unwillingness to sell him means he’s not joining the Reds this summer barring a miracle or some significant outs for the Reds.
The Return & Rise of Harvey Elliot
Last season started with a bang for Harvey Elliott. He was not only featuring in the starting lineup each week but playing a key role in Liverpool’s early campaign success. Prior to having his ankle injured by a horrific tackle, Elliott was setting up for a massive season.
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His move to midfield surprised some, but his versatility shows he’s undoubtedly a Klopp player and will feature in a variety of roles. If the shape does change, he can play in a wide position or as a no. 10. In a 4-3-3, we already know the impact he can have as a number 8, and the depth he provides is important as managing both Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara’s health moving forward will be vital.
Fabio Carvalho Features More Than We Expect
When Liverpool signed Fabio Carvalho, there seemed to be a thought in many minds that Fabio was one for the future and wouldn’t feature much until he had more time to gain valuable experience. From what we’ve already seen in preseason, it’s likely he’ll feature more than occasionally, whether as a sub or starter on either the midfield or attacking lines for Liverpool.
Klopp likes versatility and Carvalho is a bit of a reverse version of Elliott in that he can play in a left-sided winger role or as a no.10. His age may scare some, but his play and the experience he gained with Fulham last season as they won the championship should speak to how ready the young lad is to step up and play a significant part for the Reds.
Tactics Lead Players to Play in Surprising Places
If the shape does change, don’t be surprised to see players playing in seemingly odd positions at times. The same could be said if an injury crisis is realized. Whether that means Trent making an appearance as a midfielder, Joel Matip appearing as a no. 6, or Kostas Tsimikas playing on the left of the attack in a 4-2-3-1, there may well be some interesting choices for the manager to make that keep opponents from finding Liverpool predictable in the way that they began toward the end of last campaign.
Whatever the solutions are, the fact is that there are enough bodies and talent within the squad currently to realize a brilliant season. Will it mean a title? Who knows? The fact is these days you can rack up well into the 90s worth of points and come away empty-handed. We’ve seen it all too often. But one thing I’m not going to do is doubt this manager, this squad, or the possibilities before a meaningful ball has been kicked. The journey is just a few weeks from the beginning, it’s too beautiful summer for doom and gloom already.