Liverpool must build their transfer plans around fatigue this summer. Their success has come at a cost that needs correcting.
Liverpool won the Champions League and Premier League in back-to-back years with the same starting XI. They didn’t change a thing.
In fact, most of that XI reached the Champions League final the year before that.
Liverpool built their success on consistency, something playing time figures back up. Compare them to Manchester City, for instance.
Last season, City had one player with over 3000 Premier League minutes – their goalkeeper, Ederson. Liverpool had three – Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.
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City had three with over 2500 minutes. Liverpool had eight.
You can change that stat slightly to highlight the problem further. Kevin De Bruyne was the only City player to play the equivalent of over 30 games. His combined minutes make up 31 full 90s.
Liverpool had seven outfield players with over 30. Six of them had at least 32 full 90s.
Now, the two teams went to the wire in 18/19 and a look at their minutes that year is interesting. They’re virtually identical to one another. City had four outfield players with 30 full 90s. Liverpool had five.
But a closer look shows that Liverpool had four outfield players with over 3000 Premier League minutes that year – City had one.
Other than Thiago and Diogo Jota, all of Liverpool’s first-team players this season played in this two campaigns. All of them look tired.
That’s the obvious explanation, anyway, when you’re looking at their poor form and the ongoing injury crisis. Tired players, both mentally and physically.
So with that in mind, Liverpool must use this to dictate their transfer plans.
A lot of these players are pushing 30, after all, with some coming off injury problems. The Reds can’t afford to completely rely on them going forward.
So when the summer comes around, Liverpool must consider a few things. Firstly, they need young, fresh players. Talent that can come in and rejuvenate the side, rather than just slotting in.
Secondly, the harsh truth. Many of these same players are being run into the ground this year. That likely means they’re feeling it next year, too.
And as they approach 30, that could lead to them never recovering their form of the last few years. Liverpool must find out who those players are and jot it down.
Because those are the ones they must replace this summer.