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Comparing Liverpool’s 2017/18 squad to a year ago

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The transfer window is closed, and Liverpool’s 2017/18 squad is now finalised – assuming no deals involving players heading to Spain on Friday (!!)

The debate now will turn to whether Liverpool have improved their squad during a transfer window that promised much but effectively delivered just one first-team player in Mohamed Salah.

The additions of Andrew Robertson, Dominic Solanke and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain bolster the squad, but none are as yet seen as players who will improve the starting XI.

We take a look at each position within Jurgen Klopp‘s 4-3-3 formation, listing players only deemed in contention a year ago, to now. So for example, Trent Alexander-Arnold was barely established at under-23s level a year ago so wasn’t considered part of the first-team squad then.


A year ago: Mignolet, Karius, Manninger

Now: Mignolet, Karius, Ward

Verdict: Stronger, especially with Mignolet improved


Right back

A year ago: Clyne, Randall

SINSHEIM, GERMANY - Tuesday, August 15, 2017: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off 1st Leg match between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Liverpool at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Now: Clyne, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez

Verdict: A LOT stronger


Left back

A year ago: Milner, Moreno

Now: Moreno, Robertson, Milner

Verdict: Probably stronger, but still some uncertainty


Centre back

A year ago: Matip, Lovren, Klavan, Lucas

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 12, 2017: Liverpool's Joe Gomez in action against Tranmere Rovers during a preseason friendly match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Now: Matip, Lovren, Klavan, Gomez

Verdict: No change


Holding midfield

A year ago: Henderson, Can, Lucas, Stewart

Now: Henderson, Can

Verdict: No change


Centre midfield

A year ago: Can, Lallana, Wijnaldum, Grujic, Ejaria

Now: Can, Lallana, Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Milner, Grujic, Ejaria

Verdict: Stronger; more depth


Wide forwards

A year ago: Mane, Coutinho, Ojo

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, August 23, 2017: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah prays as he celebrates scoring the second goal during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off 2nd Leg match between Liverpool and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Now: Mane, Salah, Coutinho, Woodburn

Verdict: Stronger, faster; but still few options if injury hits


Centre forwards

A year ago: Firmino, Sturridge, Origi, Ings

Now: Firmino, Sturridge, Solanke, Ings

Verdict: No change



The squad overall is stronger, and the first XI is stronger for the addition of Salah. Much of this is due to improvements in players already at the club; the emergence of Alexander-Arnold, the return of Joe Gomez, the improvements in Alberto Moreno.

In midfield, there are plenty of options, and we could see the likes of Lallana and Oxlade-Chamberlain used in wide forward roles in the odd league game to allow Mane and Salah what will be much-needed rest – especially when games arrive thick and very fast in December.

But much like a year ago, we are hugely dependent on injuries. Last January they hit hard and we couldn’t cope.

This year there will be no AFCON, so that’s a bonus.

The failure to sign a centre-back could prove costly, something we will only know for sure in the months to come.

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