Liverpool are shaping their future team right now. We’re already seeing the next great Reds side beginning to form.
Liverpool have an obvious problem – their squad is ageing. This is the downside of sticking with the same stars for years on end, in truth.
In fact, the Reds went as far as not signing a single first-team player after winning the Champions League. They’ve revelled in consistency and stuck with the same XI through multiple successes.
But now Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson will all be beyond 30 by the end of the summer. You can add Thiago to that, too.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are slightly younger but they’ll be 30 within 18 months. Then there’s 34-year-old James Milner as vice-captain.
It’s a problem. All of these players will start to wind down over the next two or three years, making the Liverpool team worse as a result.
Then comes the financial issues with replacing them. You can’t do it all at once as that costs a fortune. It’s also unreasonable to assume that a bunch of expensive signings would gel quickly – they almost certainly wouldn’t.
Preparing for the future gradually is the way to go. You can sign players who aren’t quite stars for cheaper fees, develop them together, and end up with an elite team that knows how to play together.
And that’s what the club have done. We’re starting to see the Liverpool team of the future.
The future Liverpool team
Liverpool will continue to play 4-3-3 next season and we can be confident that it’s the system for the next few years. That makes sections of the future XI very obvious.
Alisson will be the goalkeeper for the next five years, you’d imagine. He’s still only 28 and goalkeepers tend to last longer than outfield players.
We can’t imagine the full-backs change, either. Andy Robertson only turned 27 in March and will have at least three more seasons at the top level in him.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is just 22 and there’s another decade at the top level there. He won’t just be a key part of this team and the next one – he should see two or three more.
The centre-backs are where it gets interesting. Joe Gomez has long been set as an option for the present and future. Now he’s joined by Ibrahima Konate.
The two are both under 24 and should be the post-Van Dijk partnership. It has the potential to be the world’s best, in our minds.
Midfield is interesting, too. Fabinho is the carry-over, though, given he’s 27 and playing in a holding role. He’ll be good for five more, we’d think.
Then there’s Curtis Jones who’s waiting to be the next star in this side. We think he’s got what it takes – he’s a phenomenal player.
As for a third midfielder, Florian Neuhaus could be the one. AS say Liverpool are closing in on his signature. At just 24, there are six or seven years there if the club can bring him in and develop him well.
Attack is the trickiest one to judge, though. Diogo Jota is definitely a part of it after his sensational start in Red. We’ll cross our fingers that Harvey Elliott continues to develop rapidly, too.
As for a third? We really don’t know. We imagine Liverpool will look to sign someone to fill the role this summer, though.
Alexander-Arnold – Gomez – Konate – Robertson
Neuhaus? – Jones
Elliott – ? – Jota
This is how we see the future Liverpool as things stand, then. But we do imagine one or two of the older players will defy ageing to stick around longer than planned.
It’ll also be an interesting one to visit in a year’s time. Will certain players regress? Will some new youngsters stake a claim? Who arrives this summer and the next?
All we know for sure is that the next great Liverpool team is taking shape.