Football

How will Champions League winner Liverpool’s squad look next season?

Champions League winner Liverpool are just a week removed from lifting their sixth trophy from the competition but sights are firmly set on next season already.

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Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has identified weaknesses in the squad and looks ready to splash some transfer cash on new players. Last summer’s signing of Fabinho came out of nowhere around this time. Although it took Fabinho some time to really break into the squad, he became one of Liverpool’s most valuable players. Can Liverpool find another great, unexpected deal?

Liverpool may have a strong squad but there are some weaknesses. Here is how the Champions League winner could look next season.

Liverpool: Potential summer transfers

Liverpool are reportedly looking into several players. Lille’s Nicolas Pepe, one of the most sought-after players in European football, could end up at Anfield by the start of the Premier League season.

Pepe scored 22 goals in 38 Ligue 1 matches. He can play along the front three and would give Klopp more options up top. Pepe would cost Liverpool around £60 million and offers a great addition to Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino.

Liverpool are also in the running to sign Ajax centre-back Matthjis de Ligt. The Dutchman has proven to be an impressive defender alongside Liverpool player Virgil van Dijk in the Netherlands national team.

De Ligt may not be the most needed player at Anfield, but he would offer an upgrade from Dejan Lovren. Liverpool’s Joel Matip proved himself as a top centre-back during the 2018-19 season while Joe Gomez also showed his quality in central defence when fit.

Seventeen-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever debuted for the Champions League winner in the FA Cup third round against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Although he won’t turn 18 until next January, Hoever has the opportunity to gain far more first-team opportunities.

According to the Metro, Liverpool “risk a player revolt” if they sign De Ligt. A move for the defender seems unnecessary unless Lovren is sold to open up a place in the team.

Liverpool: Loan returnees

Liverpool have two loan players that will return to Anfield but may not stay for long. Right-back Nathaniel Clyne will return from his half-season loan to Bournemouth. He is already attracting interest from Serie A’s Napoli for a reported £15m.

Clyne offers current Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold competition for the starting position. Currently, Alexander-Arnold has little competition in defence. Gomez can play on the right side along with Rafael Camacho, who made two appearances in all competitions during the season.

Full-back Andrew Robertson may be the best left-back in the Premier League but he too has little to no competition with Alberto Moreno allowed to leave this summer.

James Milner can play left-back but he is more often just a fill-in when needed.

Forward Harry Wilson will return from Derby County where he scored 18 goals and registered six assists in 49 matches in all competitions. Wilson is expected to be sold with teams in England and abroad interested in him.

Wilson seems to have no option for a future at Liverpool with Klopp and company ready to cash-in on the forward. The Liverpool forward is wanted by teams in Germany and a £20m-plus price tag has been set.

While Liverpool have their stars ready to return for 2019-20, their additions this summer could dictate whether another trophy is secured. Liverpool will compete for six trophies when the new season kicks off.