Some will come in, some will go out – the Liverpool squad looks set to change already this summer. The Reds are building something.
In and out at Liverpool
There’s one obvious incoming change at Liverpool – Ibrahima Konate. He’s arrived from RB Leipzig and he’ll play a fairly significant role next season.
Konate is a 22-year-old centre-back with both Champions League and Bundesliga experience. We can expect him to play plenty of games and become a long-term fixture at the club.
But he won’t be the only addition. Two youngsters should make the squad next season who weren’t there across 2020/21.
The first is Harvey Elliott. The Liverpool Echo says he’ll be a squad player next season and fans should finally see him with some regularity.
It’s a predictable move, given how well Elliott played with Blackburn Rovers last season. This should be his first real Liverpool season.
There’s another teenager on his way, though – Conor Bradley. The Athletic claims Liverpool are impressed with the 17-year-old, though he’ll likely be someway down the pecking order.
But what about players leaving? Well, the Bradley promotion comes on the back of Neco Williams wanting out, per the Athletic. The Welshman will vacate the spot as Liverpool’s backup right-back.
It appears Nat Phillips may be on his way out, too. The Telegraph believe Liverpool are open to a sale and clubs are lining up.
As for forwards, Fabrizio Romano believes both Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri will depart this summer. That’s in order to fund a new signing up top.
And then there’s the biggest departure – Gini Wijnaldum. He leaves next month with the end of his contract after five fantastic years.
What does this all mean?
No matter what, things will be different at Liverpool. They’ve made decisions, moves and reshaped things slightly.
We still expect more deals to happen but we can already see how things are changing.
At centre-back, for instance, the club is more secure than it has been for over a decade. There are now four fantastic options, with two – Konate and Joe Gomez – offering a very bright future.
Right-back is a problem, though. We haven’t seen Bradley at senior level, so it’s hard to judge him as a replacement for Williams. We’ll have to wait and see there.
Midfield takes a hit with Wijnaldum leaving, certainly. Thiago should pick up the slack but we’ll have to cross our fingers that it’s enough. It’s one area, along with up top, that we still expect an arrival.
Speaking of up top, that all hinges on Elliott. If he’s capable of making more rapid progress, we should all be very excited. He’s versatile enough to mesh well with the current options and appears to have a wonderful ability to learn quickly.
If he clicks into place, he could soon be a very good option among the forwards.
All in all, then, we find it hard to believe Liverpool are finished with their business. But this is a very promising start as the squad already begins to take shape.