With 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 depth in their squad?

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 assessment of the goalkeeping department here, and that of the defence here.

There’s been a lot of discussion about the Liverpool midfield this summer, with many an observer expressing the need for reinforcement in that area of the pitch if the Reds are to keep challenging for the major honours.

Towards the end of last season, it seemed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s time at the club was up. The ex-Arsenal man didn’t see any pitch time in the final few months of the campaign. It seemed the perfect time for him to move on.

The club targeted AS Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni early in the window – an admission they realise reinforcements are required. After missing out on the Frenchman, attentions switched to Jude Bellingham.

Dortmund have however been unwilling to even consider losing the 19 year old this window, especially after Erling Haaland’s transfer to Manchester City. Alternative targets were linked, with Nicolo Barella one such exciting name.

Jürgen Klopp is a stickler for waiting on his preferred targets though. The German famously waited six months to sign Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton after the move initially broke down over tapping up allegations.

Naby Keita was also waited on for a year, with Leipzig unwilling to lose their star man in the summer of 2017. Same goes for centre back Ibrahima Konaté, even in the midst of an existential injury crisis that left the side with no fit senior centre backs.

Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies were brought in on loan, with Konaté unavailable in that January window. It is no surprise then, that the club is once again willing to bide their time for their prime target. This has seen Ox stay put for the time being, a decision we analysed in detail here.

The midfield picture is clear heading into the new season. Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Keita, Milner, Elliott, Carvalho and Ox are the options at the manager’s disposal. Youngster Stefan Bajcetic impressed in pre-season and may have played his way into the manager’s plans.

The first three are the de facto first choice, but as we’ve seen over the years, the manager likes to rotate the personnel in his engine room quite often. With the five subs rule in effect as well, there will be even more minutes on offer.

There is no doubt about the quality of the first choice trio. The problem is their sketchy injury record. Thiago especially is notorious for picking up injuries over the course of an arduous season. As is Naby Keita who is next in the pecking order.

Harvey Elliott is an exciting prospect and we’ve detailed why he could be set for a huge season, but he suffered a terrible ankle injury last season that saw him miss five months of action. At just 19, he still has kinks to work out on his game as well.

Curtis Jones suffered a few injuries last season and is currently ruled out for up to a month with a calf injury. Ox is also for three months with a hamstring injury. 36 year old Milner has also grown prone to a few knocks as we witnessed last season.

It’s a lot of bodies in there but when you dig deeper you realise the fitness concerns, not to mention the consistency issues (especially beyond the first four or five names in the pecking order). It’s a snapshot of the risk involved in not reinforcing.

It’s a risk the manager is hoping will pay off as he puts his faith in youngsters Carvalho, Elliott and Jones to make a step in their development. Harvey especially seems primed to genuinely challenge his more senior colleagues for a place in the side.

He’s enjoyed a solid pre-season and was involved in the Community Shield as a second half substitute. If Harvey, Curtis and Fabio can establish themselves as genuine top class midfield options, we’ll be fine.

If the majority of these eight midfielders can stay fit, the Reds will be fine. Anything else and we could be left short for some of the biggest games (like the two dropped points at Spurs with a starting midfield trio of Tyler Morton, Milner and Keita).

It’s obvious reinforcement would help, but with the manager choosing to go with what he has, we can only hope it all works out. We’ll look back at this decision at the end of the campaign.



  1. The midfield is our major concern, and it seems there are no more incomings. Like you said, the younger players have to come through if we will ever have a chance of clinching the premier league title this season.

    Long season ahead, can’t wait to see how it all unfolds

    Liked by 1 person

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