ASSESSING LIVERPOOL’S SQUAD: DEFENCE
With the pre-season over and done with, we take a look at the strength of the Liverpool squad and assess their readiness for the challenges that lie ahead in what promises to be another intense season. Do they have enough squad depth?
Are further reinforcemens required? We are taking a detailed look at each department, from the goalkeepers, to the defence, through to the midfield, before finally tackling the attack.
You can check out the article on the goalkeepers here.
Jürgen Klopp boasts an impressive array of defenders at his disposal consisting of marauding full backs and Rolls Royce centre backs. Let’s dive deeper into the options available.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is the headline act in this department as he continues to reinvent the role of a modern day right back. He created the most chances (90) in the league last season and laid on 12 assists, missing out on the Playmaker award by a single assist.
His role keeps evolving as well, with him now popping up in the half spaces in midfield more often. It was from this position he opened the scoring against Manchester City in the Community Shield. He is the best in the world in his position and has a good fitness record as well.
The 23 year old has made at least 40 appearances in each of the last four campaigns. In reserve, young Calvin Ramsay has been signed from Aberdeen to serve as understudy. Unfortunately, injury ruled him out of the entirety of pre-season.
That afforded a chance for 17 year old Isaac Mabaya to show what he can offer. He showed glimpses of his ability in the friendlies and will continue to develop at the Academy. James Milner can’t be forgotten either.
The wily veteran is still going strong at 36 years old, and remains more than capable of filling in at either full back positions. He proved as much in the Community Shield victory when he came on for the final 15 minutes.
Joe Gomez is another option as well. He played well at right back at times in the run in last season and although he would want to get minutes in the heart of defence, he’s shown he can be relied on to do a job out wide as and when required.
Since the decision to not directly replace Dejan Lovren in 2020 blew up spectacularly in everyone’s face, the club has made it a point to enter each season with a healthy stack of centre backs.
Ibrahima Konaté was signed in the summer of 2021 and since then, the quartet of him, Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez have become the mainstays. Last season, Nat Phillips (until January at least) and Rhys Williams stayed as extra cover.
Jürgen Klopp was extremely careful not to leave the squad exposed again by relying solely on the latte trio who were all returning from long term injuries. With Joe Gomez signing a new long term contract, the quartet will remain at the club for the foreseeable.
As it stands, Nat Phillips and Sepp Van den Berg remain beyond this established core of centre backs. Whether they will still be here after the window closes is uncertain. Either ways, the manager has a quality set of centre backs to rival any in the world.
Just like Trent, Andy Robertson has been a creative force for the Reds since he got into the team following his arrival from Hull. He is four away from breaking Leighton’s Baines’ record as the defender with the most assists in Premier League history.
He provided his first assist of the season on Saturday when he knocked a cross down for Darwin to net a dream debut goal. The Scottish skipper has also established himself as the best in the world in his position, and at 28, is about entering the prime of his career.
Behind him in the pecking order is the ‘Greek Scouser’ Kostas Tsimikas. The 2020 capture from Olympiakos enjoyed a fine season last time out, ensuring there was no noticeable drop off in quality anytime he stepped in for Robbo.
He of course wrote himself into folklore when he slotted the winning penalty in the FA Cup final against Chelsea. He will continue providing competition and cover at left back. Academy youngster Luke Chambers and Millie provide extra depth.
It is obvious to any observer that there’s real strength in depth across the Liverpool defence, injuries permitting of course. The Reds have no glaring holes at the back as they seek to challenge again for major honours.
4 thoughts on “ASSESSING LIVERPOOL’S SQUAD: DEFENCE”
Defense solid as a rock 💪🏾, let’s go!
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We’re more than well stocked ✊
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