- Sep 25, 2012
Prefer to look at it position by position as some positions require more rotation than others. Also depending on the age and quality of the other options depends on what you need in main back up roles.For the point of this exercise, assuming our best 11 is Alisson, TAA, Matip, VVD, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Keita, Salah, Firmino and Mané, if you then had put together an 11 from the remaining squad, what would it look like and what would be your top 4 positional priorities for improving that second 11?
Goalkeeper; You'd be thinking a starter, a back up and an emergency option. Alisson is the perfect starter for our style of play. Mignolet is a good back up but poor style fit. Either Kelleher or Grabara make a fine emergency option. I'd let Mignolet move on for first team football. With the age of Alisson and the 3rd choice I'd look at an older, experienced keeper who plays the right way. Reina or Muslera would be my choices.
Centre Back; For a team involved in as many competitions as us next season I think you need at least 3 top quality CBs. They'll still likely get 40+ starts each if they are fit enough. A good, robust 4th in case of injuries. Some emergency options too. VvD, Gomez and Matip with Lovren as 4th is fantastic on paper but even ignoring Gomez injury history having both Matip and Lovren as injury prone as they are is almost asking for trouble. Luckily Hoever seems nearly ready and special whilst Fabinho fits very well in emergency situations. If we need to go with what we have next season so be it but Lovren moving on and a robust, younger, CB coming in would probably be best option. Obviously the dream would be De Ligt with how highly he is rated but I think, failing that, someone like Lascelles or Tah (who may not seem that exciting but tick all the boxes for a Klopp CB) would be ok.
Wingback; Straight off the bat I think we have the best starting Fullbacks in the world right now. Might argue they aren't perfect but both are still young and will improve and I doubt the "perfect" fullbacks are out there. I think we have some promising young players in the academy (especially on the left) but not sure any are ready to be second name on the list. Milner offers some cover. Fabinho and Gomez offer some too. One real good or promising full back who can play both sides would be ideal. Achraf Hakimi would have been perfect if he wasn't already on loan at Dortmund from Madrid. Maybe a loan to buy for Benjamin Henrichs from Monaco wouldn't be too outrageous an idea? They loaned Tielemans out. See if the kid is any good before purchasing him.
Central Midfield; For what Klopp is having the CMs do in 433 I think we are set. Fabinho is an amazing choice as the 6/anchor and Henderson and Wijnaldum are both better than they are usually given credit for in this role. In the roles of the 2 number 8s having Henderson, Keita, Oxlade Chamberlain and Wijnaldum fighting for 2 spots is great depth. Good mix of skills whilst all able to fill Klopps unglamorous demands. Milner, Lallana, Curtis Jones, Wilson, Woodburn, Grujic more options for cover than we really need and likely to see a few of them move on or go on loan.
Wing; Strange position for us. World class starters and lots of emergency cover. No real back up or competition though. Salah and Mane need to be here for years. From the likes of Ox, Shaqiri, Wilson, Kent, Origi and Brewster we have lots of half options to play here and there or come off the bench. So many options I'm not convinced they'll all be in the squad with us next season, probably couple of loan or perm departures. We need to add a real strong choice here, ideally a left forward although it wont harm if they can cover both sides. We just seem to have more right options than left. When deciding who to buy its worth remembering that these roles really play more like strikers than wingers. Need someone young, fast, good now, potential to be great, able to threaten opposition defences. Dream signing would be Mbappe who I think would be unstoppable on our left in same way Salah can be on the right. Mane would get a full seasons playing time competing with both of them and covering up top. Failing that wishful signing Dembele or Sancho look like they could be options who knows?
CF/false 9; No point labouring the point I think we are covered. Firmino and Mane both do really good playing as a false 9 style facilitator role. Origi, Salah and Brewster are all options when you want something more direct here for some games or to change games.
So dream style "who would I buy"? Would be Reina, De Ligt, Henrichs (loan) and Mbappe. More realistic would be De Ligt swapped for Tah or Lascelles and Mbappe swapped for Sancho or Dembele.