Liverpool coach Pep Lijnders has explained why the Reds didn’t sign make right-sided transfers this season. Instead, the club invested on the right.
Liverpool invested fairly heavily down their left flank this summer. First, Kostas Tsimikas came in from Olympiakos for around £11.7m. The Greek will cover Andy Robertson this season and, at 23, represents the future there.
The Reds followed that up with Diogo Jota from Wolves. The winger cost around £41m and, like Tsimikas, offers cover on the left but for Sadio Mane. And again like Tsimikas, he’s 23 – Jota is the future in that role.
So that’s the left side covered. What about the right? Liverpool didn’t sign any right-sided players this summer, let alone spend over £52m. Well, Lijnders has the answer there.
“We trust the young players in good periods and bad periods, we know exactly what we can expect from every single one of them,” Lijnders told a news conference when discussing transfers. “In the difficult times we show faith and give chances again and that’s what happens when you commit to our team and our staff.
“We won’t give up on players easily but the most important thing is to create space in the squad. Instead of buying a second right defender, it’s Neco Williams. Instead of buying a new right midfielder, it’s Curtis Jones.
“If you are in the squad you’ll get game time and develop.”
What RTK has to say
It’s an admirable stance and one that will hopefully pay off in the long run. Liverpool don’t want to block their talented youngsters, and those players do appear to be right-sided.
There’s Williams, as Lijnders mentioned, who looks like a very promising right-back. We haven’t seen Jones at right-midfield but it certainly sounds like we might.
And then there’s one he didn’t mention – Harvey Elliott. He appears to be the natural successor to Mohamed Salah, if he can kick on over the next few years.
Liverpool don’t really have this talent coming through on the other flank. It makes sense to go out and find it, then, which they appear to have done with Tsimikas and Jota.
It’ll be interesting to see if the same attitude carries over the centre-half. Liverpool have only got three senior players there but Billy Koumetio and Sepp van den Berg look very promising.
That will be the next big decision, it seems, and it could well dominate next summer.