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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, August 31, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson hands over the armband to Virgil van Dijk as he goes off with an injury during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have 3rd oldest average starting XI in Premier League

Liverpool slumped to another defeat on Sunday and it has many continuing to look for the cause and effect for the decline of Jurgen Klopp‘s side, which includes squad age.

After 11 games in all competitions so far this season, Liverpool have won just four – two in the Premier League and two in the Champions League.

Putting your finger on exactly what has triggered the Reds’ slump is no easy feat with defensive fragilities mixed with a lack of intensity and a disjointed attack all readily cited.

The profile of the squad has also been under the microscope with nine senior players aged 30 and over, seven of whom sit inside the top 12 for the most minutes played by a Red this season.

And as detailed by Sky Sports, Liverpool are currently ranked 18th in the league for the average age of their starting XIs, with 27 years and 342 days.

It is only 303 days more than the average during the title-winning season but at that point, Liverpool ranked 12th in the division after three seasons of sitting inside the top five.

  • Liverpool ranked 18th in league for average age of XI
  • Reds’ XI at Fulham the oldest average age (29.4) in PL this season
  • XI vs. Everton was Liverpool’s youngest in 2022/23, with 25.8 years

The team has steadily moved down the rankings since lifting the title, with Klopp’s XI having only seen minor tweaks as the key pillars remained in place.

This season alone, Liverpool have named four of the oldest 14 starting lineups across the Premier League, with their XI at Fulham on opening day ranked the oldest with an average age of 29.4, as per TransferMarkt.

At the other end of the spectrum, Southampton lay claim to naming the youngest XI with an average age of 23.7, 2.1 years younger than Liverpool’s youngest average XI of the season (25.8) against Everton.

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Thursday, July 21, 2022: Liverpool's Fábio Carvalho (R) celebrates with Harvey Elliott (L) after a pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The side that faced Everton saw Harvey Elliott (19), Fabio Carvalho (20), Darwin Nunez (23), Trent Alexander-Arnold (23) Luis Diaz (25) and Joe Gomez (25) all start.

The difference in Liverpool’s youngest and oldest average XI is 3.6 years, with the likes of Roberto Firmino (30), Jordan Henderson (32), Thiago (31) and Joel Matip (30) helping raise that number.

A lack of turnover in the squad has played its part and a handful of those from the younger generation that have been acquired are still bedding in and are not yet regulars for Klopp.

The midfield presents the biggest conundrum with six of the eight players in that department aged 27 and over, while the other two are 21 and 19 years of age.

It’s a balance that cannot be struck with immediacy but Liverpool’s squad does need tending to.