With four players already signed and many others linked with moves, Henry Jackson selects Liverpool’s best possible XI for the opening day of 2015/16.
The constant stream of transfer news is absolutely relentless at the moment, and it is still 10 days until the summer window even opens.
Liverpool have already completed the signings of James Milner, Danny Ings, Adam Bogdan and Joe Gomez, and there will be plenty more ins and outs before the 2015/16 season gets underway.
For a bit of fun, we have compiled what the Reds’ best possible starting eleven could look like if those players linked with moves to Anfield to join in the coming weeks.
Daniel Sturridge and Jon Flanagan are long-term injury absentees, so are not available for selection, while only those confirmed as targets via British media are included.
Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet
Simon Mignolet will undoubtedly remain first-choice goalkeeper at the start of the season, with Bogdan clearly brought in as back-up rather than a potential replacement.
The 27-year-old should be buoyed by his terrific form in the second-half of 2014/15, and will hopefully continue to grow after a difficult start to life with the Reds.
Right-back: Nathaniel Clyne
Of all the players linked with Liverpool this summer, Nathaniel Clyne certainly feels like one of the more likely to actually join the club. It’s far from a guarantee, mind you.
The England international would be an excellent acquisition, and with Glen Johnson no longer at the club, Flanagan injured and Javier Manquillo seemingly out of favour, Clyne would be a definite starter at right-back.
Centre-back: Martin Skrtel
Although Martin Skrtel’s Anfield future is a little up in the air at the moment, with contract talks reportedly stalling, chances are he will still be a Liverpool player beyond the summer.
The 30-year-old Slovakian may not be the long-term solution at the centre of Brendan Rodgers’ defence, but he is still a relatively safe pair of hands with bags of experience.
Centre-back: Mamadou Sakho
Mamadou Sakho is the best defender at Anfield these days, and the defence needs to be built around him if Liverpool are to improve in that area next season and beyond.
The France international is a top class centre-back who is coming into his peak years, and Rodgers would be mad not to make him a frequent fixture in the side.
Left-back: Alberto Moreno
Although Paris Saint-Germain star Lucas Digne has been linked with a move to the Reds, Alberto Moreno still has to be the Reds’ first-choice left-back next season.
The 22-year-old had an inconsistent first season on Merseyside, but he has shown enough to suggest that he will only improve in the coming years. It would be harsh to give up on him this soon.
Midfield: Emre Can
If there is one thing Rodgers simply has to do in 2015/16, it’s play Emre Can in midfield. No more using him as an ineffective roaming right-back.
The young German has all the attributes to become a colossal player for Liverpool, and may well be the man who helps fill the Steven Gerrard void. He may be a bit wasted in defensive midfield, but he can still thrive there.
Midfield: Jordan Henderson
The decision over who will be Gerrard’s successor as Liverpool captain has not yet been made by Rodgers, but all fingers point towards it being Jordan Henderson.
The 25-year-old has become one of the first names on the team-sheet, and will continue to be an integral part of the midfield next year and beyond.
Midfield: James Milner
Some may have turned their noses up a little at the signing of James Milner, but he will prove to be a really good piece of business by the Reds.
The former Man City man will likely adopt the central midfield role he was reportedly promised by the club, and will bring added quality, consistency, experience and overall influence.
Wide Forward: Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho is now the best player at Liverpool, and with Raheem Sterling surely on his way to City, even more will be expected of the Brazilian next year.
The brilliant playmaker has all the ability to become one of the best attacking players in Europe in the next two or three years, and the Reds will be depending on him week in, week out in 2015/16. [td_ad_box spot_id=“custom_ad_3″]
Wide Forward: Roberto Firmino
If you ignore the reports linking Liverpool with a move for Inter Milan starlet Mateo Kovacic- the British press are yet to report anything positive on the matter- then Roberto Firmino is the most exciting player rumoured to be joining the club this summer.
The Brazil and Hoffenheim star would be a wonderful addition, if Liverpool can pip Man United to his signature, bringing goals, assists and flair to the side. The interest in him is certainly genuine.
Centre Forward: Carlos Bacca
Ings has been signed from Burnley, and Divock Origi will return from his loan spell at Lille, but Carlos Bacca would be a definite starter ahead of both if Liverpool could snap him up.
The Sevilla striker bagged 28 goals last season, and would bring the kind of infectious street-fighting style Luis Suarez did during his unforgettable time at Anfield.
Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert are Fabio Borini are all surplus to requirements.
The Starting XI:
It’s fair to say that the capture of Bogdan wasn’t met with great joy, but the former Bolton Wanderers man will prove to be a solid back-up to Mignolet.
Following a decent spell on loan at West Brom last season, Andre Wisdom will be desperate to prove himself at Liverpool. He will likely be second-choice right-back come August.
Dejan Lovren‘s first season on Merseyside was a disaster, but he is worth persevering with for one more year at least. He must accept that he is not first-choice, however.
Although Lucas Leiva should no longer be a regular starter, he still has the experience and know-how of playing for Liverpool to merit a place in the squad.
There aren’t many Reds players who divide opinion quite like Joe Allen, but assuming the Welshman stays at the club, he will remain a reliable squad member.
Jordon Ibe is being tipped by many to be the natural successor to Sterling, and although he still has a way to go to reach his level, 2015/16 should see the 19-year-old’s game go up another gear.
It wasn’t a great first season at Anfield for Lazar Markovic, but the former Benfica starlet was rarely played in his best position. If he is, he could really flourish, but it’s hard to see him featuring regularly at the start of the season.
Adam Lallana‘s first year as a Liverpool player was adequate at best, but he is clearly a talent. Were Firmino or someone of similar quality to join though, he would have to accept being on the substitutes’ bench.
Another signing whose arrival has not been met with resounding positivity, Ings will prove many people wrong. The Englishman will be a definite upgrade on the likes of Lambert and Borini, and should produce plenty of good cameos from the bench.
Origi endured a poor year at Lille, scoring just nine times, but he is still an exciting prospect who will add depth in attack. The 20-year-old will likely be eased in, rather than thrown in at the deep end.