One the eve of Liverpool’s visit to the South of Wales, to Swansea’s Liberty Stadium, Jürgen Klopp would already have an idea of who he would be affording starts to. That being said, it’s never easy as a manager, who has himself been a player, to bench personnel, repeatedly, for prolonged periods, on the basis of how well everyone else is playing.
Without European football, it becomes more of task to keep players on their toes, with the player knowing full well, that it might and injury or two for him to be even considered a starter in the league. T4O believes, while this may be a challenge for Jürgen to shuffle his troops around this season, it’s an encouraging sign that they, despite all the pre-season previews, and predictions, have suddenly have, what seems, sufficient quality in depth. We have a look.
As long as it’s Simon Mignolet who is sat there, giving Alex Manninger company on the bench, things should be all right here.
What does it say, when Liverpool’s best centre-back in their run to two back-to-back finals, can’t even get to fill a role of the benchwarmer? Mamadou Sakho, for all his transgressions, is still the best out-and-out defensive centre-back in the team, yet, he’s having to doubly prove himself after his fat burner fiasco, and go-pro faux pas, and most recently, a harebrained attempt to ‘clarify his situation’ on social media used by pre-teens, Snapchat.
It’d be no surprise if the Catford Maldini, the abundantly gifted Joe Gomez, once he recovers from his injury, is preferred over Mamadou, for his supreme dictation of the ball at his feet. Joel Matip has established himself as a cert, and Ragnar Klavan, who can play across the back, has proved himself just as able, or better than Dejan, to be picked at more regular frequency as the season wears on.
Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner forms the most productive full-back pairing in the league, while the mercurial Alberto Moreno, who has been a standout performer in training, is busy honing his skills, has shown the potential to be one of the best players in the team last season, prior to the Christmas break.
Emre Can, Lucas Leiva, Cameron Brannagan, Marko Grujic, Pedro Chirivella, Sheyi Ojo, Ovie Ejaria are some of the names Liverpool can beckon of the bench to bolster their options in a match. It seems to be the perfect mix of experience and emerging talents to be a support system to the likes of Wijnaldum, Lallana and Henderson, along with Sadio Mane and Phil Coutinho.
There were a couple of 20 million GBP offers that were rejected by Liverpool over the summer, for Danny Ings. Klopp confessed his affinity for the former Burnley man, due to his natural inclination for the hard press, and uncanny first touch, and an eye for goal. Daniel Sturridge, one of the most natural finishers in game in Europe, is reportedly putting in the hours to get himself into the best physical condition to be the first line of defence that Klopp sees Roberto Firmino as.