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3 in, 4 out: How Liverpool changed their squad for 2021/22

Liverpool haven’t made too many major changes to their squad for the 2021/22 season. We have a look at exactly what’s changed from last year.

Departures

Gini Wijnaldum, Xherdan Shaqiri, Ben Davies, Rhys Williams

We’ll start with who has left the first-team squad this summer. There are four players in total, two of whom are centre-backs.

But there’s only one place to start – Gini Wijnaldum. The Dutchman left at the end of his contract, joining Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer. He’s a huge loss as one of the key parts of Liverpool’s successful side over the last few years.

Xherdan Shaqiri departed, too, joining Lyon. He’s another player who’s been around for some time – though, he never played as significant a role as Wijnaldum. Still, Liverpool lose experience and playmaking with his departure.

Ben Davies leaves the squad to play with Sheffield United on loan. Now, this one obviously won’t have a great effect on Liverpool as he never actually played a single minute.

Rhys Williams, though, very much did last season. He was a regular to finish the campaign as the Reds came fourth. Returning players – and one arrival – made it difficult for him to get games going forward, though. He joins Swansea City on loan.

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Additions

Ibrahima Konate, Harvey Elliott, Loris Karius

Only one actual signing here – Ibrahima Konate. He joins from RB Leipzig for £36m, boosting options in defence and offering a very bright future. There’s a lot to like about this deal.

Harvey Elliott is an interesting addition, too. He already looks like he can play a strong role in midfield, offering creativity where Liverpool sometimes lack it. The Reds are putting a lot of faith in him but it looks well-placed.

And then there’s Loris Karius. He remains at the club by default – Liverpool couldn’t move him on and they might as well register him. We don’t expect him to play a minute.

2021/22 Liverpool squad

The big question here is ‘did Liverpool improve their squad?’. We’re not sure they did.

Wijnaldum is a huge loss, while Shaqiri offered depth that isn’t there anymore. We can’t imagine Williams and Davies will be missed this season, though.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Konate does offer something, of course, but not all that much for this campaign. He’s fourth choice at the back, after all. Elliott should add something to midfield, however, and somewhat cover Shaqiri’s loss.

Is that a better squad? On paper, no. Liverpool lost an elite midfielder they relied heavily on last season and didn’t replace him.

There is still a chance that things do improve personnel-wise, though. It depends on Elliott, Curtis Jones and Trent Alexander-Arnold all improving another level this year.

If that trio does, then this side will be better than last season. You can arguably add Diogo Jota to that group, too, as he’s still only 24 and we think he’ll improve.

But in terms of transfers, Liverpool really didn’t make things better. The squad is still strong – it just hasn’t definitely improved.

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