There is a good argument to made that Liverpool have the best regular starting XI in world football.
All Liverpool fans are talking about at the minute is transfers.
Fans want signings. If reports are to be believed, the club want signings too.
Yet the club hasn’t made them. The reasons are financial, we know that much.
And before we get into it, I have to make my opinion known: I believe that Liverpool do need to bring in new players this summer.
But it is a difficult situation. We are not here defending FSG for their lack of spending, nor are we strongly criticising them.
In an ideal world, we would have signed two players already, as well as Ibrahima Konate. A forward to provide more competition to the front three plus a midfielder to replace Georginio Wijnaldum.
However, when you think about it, would any new signing even get into the best XI at Liverpool?
We are not sure. After all, it was good enough to win the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League in 2020.
And this was before the addition of Thiago Alcantara.
Realistically, who can come in and make it better? The answer is very few players, and anyone who can is not a realistic target at the moment.
So, fans, like us here at RTK, want new signings to strengthen the squad, not the team. Which is absolutely fair enough.
But it is almost a pessimistic view. We are assuming that we are going to have another injury crisis like last season.
In the unlikely situation that every player at the club stayed fit and firing for the full season, then any new signing wouldn’t even be used.
Do Liverpool have the best first-choice line-up on earth?
For reference, this is the XI we are talking about:
Is there a better back five than that in world football? Not for us.
No matter who partners Virgil van Dijk in defence, it will be a world-class partnership, assuming he comes back the same player he was before his injury.
We are yet to see that midfield three in action, but if each of Thiago, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson are playing at their best, it is, for us, the best midfield three in the world.
We know that Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino had a dramatic fall-off last season. But they are still in their prime years, so could very possibly return to their best form.
That is not to mention the ever-brilliant Mohamed Salah. Or Diogo Jota, who we believe will have overtaken someone in this regular XI before the season’s end.
So, imagine that every player for every team on earth is fit and on top form. Would Liverpool have the best XI on the planet?
We think so. The likes of Manchester City, PSG and Bayern come close, but man for man, including manager and tactical set-up, we would back our Reds.
Yes, rotation is needed to keep those 11 players fit, but if they stay injury-free all year, Liverpool should be winning the league.
Yet we know that at least one or two of these will face spells on the sidelines.
Assuming the Reds don’t sign anyone else, this is the second-choice XI:
We won’t lie, there are much better second-string sides around.
But every player in this side would be capable of performing at least ok if they were thrown into the best XI here and there.
Others, like the centre-backs, Naby Keita, Jota and Harvey Elliott, are capable of playing to a top-class level.
Curtis Jones is in the discussion as well.
So, what Jurgen Klopp must do is play that first XI in every big game. Then, for the less-important ones, throw a player or two from the second XI in for rotational purposes.
If they are able to do that, then we would not be too worried about the Reds’ chances in 2021/22.