Liverpool need solutions for three roles next season and they may have already found two. Jurgen Klopp has pre-season to figure it out.
This is quite an obvious one. Liverpool survived this season without recognised cover at either full-back position but they took a chance. Injury to either Trent Alexander-Arnold or Andy Robertson would have derailed the season. Fortunately, both were fine.
They can’t count on James Milner reliably covering now that he’s 34. They need at least one player to cover both roles – or even one for each.
Neco Williams might be that player. He certainly seems to have the talent and it’s really just a case of him being ready or not. He’s still only a teenager, after all.
If Williams can step up and help the other two rest, then he may be the way to go. Klopp used him at left-back on two occasions and while there’s still some learning for that role, he may be able to do it.
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But can Liverpool trust Williams to cover either position in a big game? Injury could thrust him into one, after all, and Klopp has to figure that one out over the transfer window.
Dejan Lovren has left Liverpool for Zenit St Petersburg. Now the Reds are short one senior centre-half – and Klopp won’t like that. The boss recently talked about the importance in having quality players for that role and he has a huge decision coming up.
Can he gamble on the kids? Sepp van den Berg and Ki-Jana Hoever look talented but are yet to feature in the Premier League. Can he bring someone in? It’s a difficult window to do business, given the economic climate.
Honestly, we have no idea what he’s going to do. There’s always the option of Fabinho falling back as a fourth-choice and having midfielders cover the Brazilian’s holding role.
There is no easy option. This is the one where we just really don’t know what the club will do.
Liverpool need goals from the bench. They’re far too reliant on the regular front-three and that’s something that will bite them eventually.
Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane all scored in decent numbers this season. The next highest? Virgil van Dijk with five. Not a reliable goalscorer, in truth.
Divock Origi has struggled all season to find the net, with his strike against Newcastle United his first since December 4th. That’s a real problem when he’s the only other recognised goal scorer in the squad.
Liverpool don’t have goals from the bench and they can’t reliably rest the front three and expect to score.
Hopefully, then, they have the answer to this one in Rhian Brewster. We’ve been raving about him in recent weeks after his fantastic form for Swansea City. We’ve said he can’t arrive soon enough and that he should probably be ahead of Origi right now.
We’re not the only ones, either. Teammate Andre Ayew believes Brewster is destined for the top.
We know Liverpool want more options up top. They reportedly wanted Timo Werner, after all, but couldn’t justify the price. Brewster can, hopefully, be the goalscorer they wanted and come in for no cost at all.
That’s the hope here but if they decide he can’t, we may see Liverpool gamble from outside for next season.