Current Liverpool squad has got 26 senior players in it and that is more than the number of senior players in teams like Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea. Liverpool have got a deep squad, but constant injuries have made Liverpool look like a small team. Liverpool have been affected by injuries even before the season started. Players like Joe Gomez, Mamadou Sakho, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings, Christian Benteke, etc have become injured during some part of this season. Injuries are one of the reasons for Liverpool’s struggle this season.
Here we take a look at Liverpool’s best possible line-up when everyone is fit.
The Goalkeeper – Simon Mignolet
Mignolet and Bogdan are Liverpool’s current goalkeeper options and it is easy to come to the conclusion that Mignolet is the number one and will remain as the number one. There have been rumours that Klopp is planning to replace Mignolet soon. Even if the rumour is true, it won’t happen at least until the next transfer window. Bogdan, who was bought for a free transfer, was always going to be Mignolet’s cover.
The Defenders – Nathaniel Clyne, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Alberto Moreno
Nathaniel Clyne is a huge upgrade on Glen Johnson for Liverpool and he is England’s current first team right back. He has already proven his defensive skills and recently he has been doing well in his attacking performances. Clyne is a perfect Right back and Liverpool will not have to look for a new right back as long as he is here. Joe Gomez and Jon Flanagan are two options for the right-back position. Both of them are currently injured, but even when they return Clyne will be preferred over them.
Skrtel is sloppy at times and is Liverpool’s main weak link. He sometimes makes things easy for his opponent and makes poor tackles, but he is a solid and experienced centre back. He may get replaced in the next summer transfer window, but for now he will be a constant starter for Liverpool. Mamadou Sakho had a poor start to his Liverpool career. He received a lot of stick from the fans and looked like a waste of money, but he later improved and now is one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League. He will be here at Liverpool for many more years to come unless some big club comes for him. Dejan Lovren, Kolo Toure and Joe Gomez are Liverpool’s other centre back options. If Lovren makes use of the chances he gets, he can replace Skrtel in the first team. It looks like it is Toure’s last year at Liverpool and young Gomez will get his chances in the upcoming seasons.
Alberto Moreno is a mixed type of player. Poor at defending, but a real attacking threat. His defensive abilities have been criticized by the fans, but he has improved. If he keeps on improving, he can be a perfect left back. And he will be here at Liverpool for many more years. Jose Enrique is Liverpool’s another left back option, but he is affected by constant injuries. Joe Gomez and Jon Flanagan have proved that they could play as left back quite well.
The Midfielders – Lucas Leiva, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho
Out of these midfielders, Lucas and Lallana are doubtful picks but it is almost certain that other three will start if all of them are fit. Lucas’ selection may be questioned because of the presence of Emre Can and James Milner in the team. Emre Can might be opted by Klopp because he is a German and Milner is Liverpool’s vice-captain. If Rodgers was still Liverpool’s manager, them Milner would have started but Klopp will not want to keep him just because he has a big work rate and because he is the vice-captain. Klopp will want to help his fellow countryman Can, but Klopp does not have such sympathies when it comes to the matter of selecting the starting eleven. Lucas is a perfect defensive midfielder who knows when to make those dirty tackles. Klopp has not been able to work with Henderson so far because he was injured, but he has stated that Henderson will remain as his captain and there is no doubt in it. Liverpool have missed Henderson and it will be a great boost for them to have Henderson back. Henderson when fit will go straight back into the team’s starting eleven as the captain.
Coutinho can be blamed for not being consistent, but Liverpool cannot drop him because his creativity alone can win matches. His importance was proved in Liverpool’s match against Chelsea. Coutinho was not in a good form, but all of a sudden he won the game for Liverpool. Roberto Firmino has had a slow start to his Liverpool career. He was bought with a lot of expectations. He was also affected by injuries, but now he looks settled and we have been able to see his abilities. All he needs to do now is form a bond with the other players, especially with his fellow countryman, Coutinho. Lallana, as stated earlier is a doubtful pick. He also had a slow start to his Liverpool career after his big-money move from Southampton. He was affected by constant injuries and his first season was ruined by injuries. This season he looks fit and he has been a lot better. His work rate is amazing and his performances also have been good. All he needs to do is add goals and assists to his game.
The Striker – Daniel Sturridge
It’s frustrating to see Sturridge getting injured again and again, but Liverpool cannot give up on their star striker. His abilities are already proven and that is why the people at Liverpool are patient with him. His return will definitely bring what Liverpool is lacking at the moment. Goals! Christian Benteke has been in a good form for Liverpool, but sometimes he goes missing in games. For example the game against Crystal Palace, where Liverpool lost 1-2 at home. Benteke did nothing right in that match.
Clyne Skrtel Sakho Moreno
We have not been able to see Benteke and Sturridge play together. The two could either do nothing together or could form a deadly duo. The first option looks unlikely because both the players could support each other and that will result in GOALS. Main problem is still the injuries which may stop this duo from achieving greatness just like what SAS used to be few seasons back.