With England crashing out of the Euros, it’s time to focus on the important things in football. Like Liverpool’s pre-season starting on Saturday and a first test against Tranmere a week Friday. It feels like only yesterday the 2015-16 season ended, and already we’re less than a week from players reporting back at Melwood.
With that in mind, we decided it might be a good time to look at how Liverpool’s depth looked. A few more signings could still be made—Mahmoud Dahoud and Piotr Zielinski remain potential targets in midfield, and Ben Chilwell remains Jürgen Klopp’s top fullback target—but most of the club’s new signings have already been secured.
When it comes to outgoings, things look a little less certain. Will Simon Mignolet find a new home? Which of the kids, amongst them Jordon Ibe and Sheyi Ojo and Lazar Markovic and Kevin Stewart—will stick, and which will head out on loan or be sold? After all, with no Europe next season, there will be fewer minutes to pass around.
With that in mind, we’re keeping the depth chart to two-deep at each position for now at least—that takes care of most of the youth and fringe players, making it easier to focus on the players we know will be in Klopp’s first team plans next season rather than getting caught up trying to argue which of Ibe or Markovic ends up being kept around.
So, without further ado, Liverpool’s current two-deep heading into 2016-17 pre-season:
The main places where change seems likely are the aforementioned midfield and left back issues. If all goes according to plan, Chilwell slots in for Smith and Dahoud or Zielinski for Allen—and if, as is widely expected, the Welsh cult hero is sold. It’s also likely that by September 1st, Danny Ward and not Mignolet will be backup goalkeeper.
Any way you look at it, though, assuming the club can land both a left back and central midfielder—or if they perhaps decided instead to forgo any new signings there in favour of a new deal for Allen—it looks an exciting and well stocked depth chart for a side out of Europe that will primarily be focused on league success.