Liverpool face a challenge in overhauling their first-team squad in years to come, with a new study revealing that 11 regular starters are past the peak age for their position.
Not since 2018 have those within the Reds’ recruitment staff presided over a major influx of talent for the senior squad, with Alisson, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri all brought in that summer.
In the six transfer windows since then, only Takumi Minamino, Adrian, Andy Lonergan, Diogo Jota, Thiago, Kostas Tsimikas, Ben Davies, Ozan Kabak and Ibrahima Konate have been brought into the first-team setup.
Kabek and Lonergan have since left, while Davies is currently on loan with Sheffield United and unlikely to return for a long-term role.
Of those to play 500 or more minutes in all competitions so far this season, Tsimikas, Jota and Curtis Jones are the only players to have not been regulars during that 2018/19 campaign.
There is no doubt Klopp’s squad has aged and, despite the relative inactivity in the transfer market, an injection of youth is required to evolve.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) November 17, 2021
In a study from The Athletic, considering a variety of trends over the past 10 Premier League seasons, the peak ages for each position have been determined – with 11 Liverpool players already past that.
That leaves only nine squad regulars yet to reach their peak age: Jota (24), Jones (20), Konate (22), Trent Alexander-Arnold (22), Joe Gomez (24), Nat Phillips (24), Harvey Elliott (18), Neco Williams (20) and Caoimhin Kelleher (22).
Three of those nine are centre-backs and two are right-backs, which further highlights the problem Liverpool could face in the future in terms of depth.
A players ‘peak’ is not clearly defined, of course, and there are a host of examples across European football of those who are defying age to continue performing at the very top level.
Salah seems the most likely of those in Liverpool’s first-team squad to emulate the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
But there is undoubtedly a need to revitalise Klopp’s ageing group before too late, with this current crop of players largely allowed to grow older together without a steady change in personnel.