As the Premier League season nears amid an early start for the 2022/23 campaign, all eyes will be on whether Jürgen Klopp’s squad has evolved enough to secure the Premier League title. It is two years to the day since Liverpool broke their league title drought, with the Reds falling cruelly short on two occasions in recent times.
The approach could be slightly different this year, after Sadio Mané headed off in search of a new challenge with Bayern Munich. Takumi Minamino looks to be on his way too, while Origi will officially depart at the end of the month upon the expiry of his contract.
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But FSG have made additions too, with potential record signing Darwin Núñez the headline amid deals for Calvin Ramsay and Fábio Carvalho. Probably the best number nine of Klopp’s tenure, he could herald a new tactical setup. When considering the signings made so far across the Premier League, how does Liverpool’s squad compare in the league’s best XI?
A case could be made that Alisson is the best in the world between the sticks. The Brazilian goalkeeper has won games on his own since joining the club, and his rate of stopping one-versus-one situations has helped Liverpool stay in matches. While Édouard Mendy deserves a mention for his performances last season, Alisson is currently the best in the Premier League.
LB: Andy Robertson
Manchester City’s João Cancelo provided strong competition for Robertson last year as a name for the best left-back in England’s top flight, but the Scotland captain’s consistency and production was unmatched by anyone in that position.
LCB: Virgil van Dijk
The best centre-back in the world. So good that rival fans are willing to wait weeks to celebrate a player finally dribbling by him.
RCB: Joël Matip
Matip is turning out to be one of the best free transfers in Liverpool’s history, with the 30-year-old consistently delivering and turning the corner with his match availability last season. Some may argue a case for the likes of Rúben Dias, but the Manchester City man looked exposed at times when playing a high line last season, while Ibrahima Konaté stood out brightest in the clashes between Liverpool and the Citizens.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold
The most productive right-back in the world. Trent Alexander-Arnold sets the standards for players in his position, and he will be crucial to the Reds’ success in a season where he will be helping the development of Calvin Ramsay.
Fabinho has cemented vital importance in the spine of Klopp’s team with performances that have seen him regarded as one of the best number sixes in football.
Thiago answered every doubter he ever had in the Premier League with his performance at Anfield against Manchester United, and he is Klopp’s most important piece, given that he is almost impossible to replace in the midfield three.
RCM: Kevin De Bruyne
The difference-maker in the league title race last season was Kevin De Bruyne. Liverpool’s strongest options in this position will continue to be a rotation between Jordan Henderson and Naby Keïta.
LW: Son Heung-min
Luis Díaz looks set to be one of the best wingers in the league next season, and there isn’t too much of a gap between him and Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min. Díaz has proven that he can compete against any side — particularly relishing the big games after showing himself to be a star player in Liverpool’s cup finals last season. Even so, the Spurs man edges it for now.
ST: Erling Haaland
The race for the Golden Boot next season will likely see Haaland and Harry Kane challenging the Liverpool duo of Darwin Núñez and Mohamed Salah. Haaland’s pace and performances in the Bundesliga make him the best number nine in the league, though whether or not he can adapt to Manchester City’s style without disrupting them is another question.
Of course, given that Pep Guardiola’s side dominate the vast majority of their games, the Norway international will be given plenty of service, but his reputation as the best number nine could fade if Núñez makes a fast start to life at Anfield.
RW: Mohamed Salah
Salah has led the way in world football from the right flank in recent seasons, and it will be a matter of whether he can maintain form amid current contract negotiation distractions. With Núñez a focal point in the box next season, many of Salah’s goals could come from his typical cut inside and left-foot finish, though that technique did seem to have faltered last season from the standards witnessed earlier on in his Liverpool career.
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