Why Liverpool’s squad may be stronger, regardless of Sadio Mane’s exit – Liverpool FC

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By promoting Sadio Mane, Liverpool have misplaced one of many best gamers within the membership’s current historical past, however Jurgen Klopp will nonetheless really feel his squad is stronger heading into 2022/23.

It truly is the tip of an period for this Liverpool workforce.

Final summer time, they stated goodbye to Gini Wijnaldum, a participant who arrived throughout the identical switch window as Mane and was an integral a part of the membership’s success within the Klopp period.

That departure was robust to take, however Mane’s exit actually does hit otherwise.

There’s a sturdy argument to say the Senegalese has been Liverpool’s most essential participant in recent times. His £34 million arrival was the beginning of one thing particular.

In his first season, Mane helped the membership return to the Champions League. In his second, he performed an important half in them reaching the ultimate of that very competitors. The following 12 months, he helped them go one step additional.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 14, 2022: Liverpool's Sadio Mané celebrates with the trophy after the FA Cup Final between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. The game ended in a goal-less draw, Liverpool won 6-5 on penalties. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

His finest season was in all probability 2019/20, when the Reds received a league title for the primary time in 20 years and, in his ultimate season, he accomplished the set with a home cup double.

Comprehensible, then, that he felt he had achieved every thing he may have on the membership and wished a brand new problem this summer time. An enormous blow, however in all probability the fitting time for each events to go their separate methods.

With the signings of Luis Diaz, Fabio Carvalho and Darwin Nunez, Liverpool have ensured his exit mustn’t hit them as laborious because it may have.

Fairly than remorse at Mane’s departure, there may be optimism about an thrilling new period on the membership. The following chapter of the unbelievable story Klopp is writing at Anfield.

So how is that this particular workforce shaping up for the brand new season?

 

Defence extra stable than ever?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 14, 2022: Liverpool's (L-R) Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip celebrates with the trophy after the FA Cup Final between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. The game ended in a goal-less draw, Liverpool won 6-5 on penalties. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Joe Gomez‘s new contract is probably essentially the most underrated little bit of enterprise Liverpool have performed this summer time.

After restricted alternatives final season, many anticipated the 25-year-old to hunt extra minutes elsewhere, within the hope of securing a spot in England’s World Cup squad.

By convincing him to increase his keep for a further 5 years, Liverpool have ensured they’ve the perfect set of centre-backs in world soccer on their books.

Virgil van Dijk and Gomez ought to now be approaching peak situation, having returned from long-term accidents final summer time, whereas the spectacular Ibrahima Konate is a star within the making.

Joel Matip loved his finest season in a purple shirt but, having seemingly overcome the harm points which have plagued him in campaigns passed by, and there’s a actual battle on to safe that spot alongside Van Dijk when the season will get underway subsequent month.

There’s each probability the membership will look to retain one in every of Sepp van den Berg or Nat Phillips as a fifth-choice choice, too.

Between the sticks behind them, Alisson is within the form of his life, backed up by the wonderful Caoimhin Kelleher, who performed a key position within the membership’s success final season.

Full-back is without doubt one of the few positions the Reds have refreshed this summer time, with 18-year-old Calvin Ramsay arriving from Aberdeen.

Having changed Neco Williams, who’s exit to Nottingham Forest earned Liverpool £17 million, Ramsay can be tasked with pushing Trent Alexander-Arnold to his limits, simply as Kostas Tsimikas continues to do to Andy Robertson on the opposite aspect.

Choices aplenty.

 

Carvalho brings flexibility

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Monday, July 11, 2022: Liverpool's new signing Fábio Carvalho (L) and Curtis Jones during a training session at the Rajamangala National Stadium on day two of the club's Asia Tour ahead of a friendly match against Manchester United FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Having primarily been utilised as a No. 10 in a 4-2-3-1 system at Fulham, Carvalho’s arrival on the membership had many questioning which position Klopp had in retailer for him on this Liverpool workforce.

After that includes in each pre-season friendlies, the reply to that query continues to be largely unclear, however one factor he’ll add is extra choices and extra flexibility.

In his first outing for the membership, the defeat to Man United in Bangkok, Carvalho began in a stereotypical Klopp midfield three, nevertheless it was the place of his former Fulham academy teammate Harvey Elliott which provided essentially the most meals for thought.

Elliott, who was moulded into extra of a central midfield position final season, started on the fitting aspect of Liverpool’s entrance three, and was in all probability the Reds’ brightest participant on the pitch whereas he was on.

Within the second pleasant towards Palace, it was roles reversed. Elliott started the sport in midfield, organising Jordan Henderson for the opener, whereas Carvalho got here on in a large position within the second half.

There was a clamour amongst many followers for the Reds to additional add to their midfield ranks this summer time, however Klopp has made clear that he’s more than pleased along with his present choices.

Fabinho, Henderson and Thiago was the primary alternative trio for a lot of final season, however Elliott could have his eyes on nailing down a kind of positions, simply as he did firstly of final season.

Curtis Jones is one other who’s but to fulfil is potential, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stay glorious choices and James Milner will as soon as once more be Klopp’s Mr. Dependable.

 

A refreshed ahead line

SINGAPORE - Friday, July 15, 2022: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez during the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at the Singapore National Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

When it grew to become clear that Mane could be leaving the membership this summer time, Liverpool insisted they will need to have a substitute lined up as a way to sanction his departure.

Nunez was an attention-grabbing alternative, given the profile of striker he’s and the way he differs to Roberto Firmino, a participant who’s performed a singular position on the coronary heart of the Reds’ assault in recent times.

In actuality, Mane’s most like-for-like substitute was Luis Diaz, who arrived on the membership final January. The actual fact he’s had the second-half of final season to settle was an enormous bonus.

Mohamed Salah‘s new contract seems to be prone to convey his struggles in direction of the tip of final season to an finish, with Klopp making clear he nonetheless feels the Egyptian’s “finest years are forward of him.”

The Liverpool boss additionally believes Firmino “is again, one hundred pc” and stays “a world class participant,” whereas Diogo Jota‘s glorious begin to life at Anfield seems to be set to earn him an improved contract.

Liverpool completed final season with seven senior attacking gamers to select from. With Mane, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino changed by Carvalho and Nunez, you can argue they’ve one fewer for the upcoming marketing campaign.

Nonetheless, as beforehand talked about, Carvalho’s arrival may imply that Elliott is deployed in a right-sided attacking position extra often.

It’s definitely an assault with a unique look to this time final 12 months, and one that provides Klopp extra flexibility than ever.

Work your magic, Jurgen!


Liverpool FC Squad Depth Chart

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