When we looked at Liverpool’s depth chart before the season kicked off, we felt certain is a work in progress; that over the final few weeks of the transfer window we would see significant changes that would impact both Jürgen Klopp’s first choice eleven and his matchday squad.
We didn’t get that, not quite at least, with the club’s pursuit of Virgil van Dijk never turning into a solid bid and their desire to land a midfielder ending up with only Naby Keïta’s deferred signing, with the player now set to arrive at Anfield—but not until the summer of 2018.
One new player did arrive, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signing on from Arsenal, and his is a signing that further solidifies depth across the the support positions in Liverpool’s squad—on the wing and potentially too as the more attack-minded of the shuttling eights in midfield.
To start, though, it seems likely Oxlade-Chamberlain will see most of his minutes as the first option to fill in for Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah, and that any future in midfield that the player might have will have to wait until he’s had time in training to adjust to Klopp’s tactics.
Meanwhile, in midfield, the club have kept hold of Philippe Coutinho and despite some grumbling amongst the fanbase, there’s no question that he remains one of the club’s best players and a nailed-on starter as long as he’s physically and mentally up to the task.
There is one change in midfield, though, where after being pencilled in to back up Jordan Henderson in the six this season, Emre Can has impressed further up the pitch as one of the shuttling midfielders, and as things stand it’s hard not to include the German in a first choice eleven.
If Liverpool’s depth looks decent enough in midfield and attack—with no room even for Dominic Solanke in the two-deep—in defence there are question marks following the long-term injury of right back Nathaniel Clyne that has seem Joe Gomez shifted over to provide cover.
In practice, Gomez is now fourth—or even third—choice centre half and second choice right back. If another injury occurred at either position, it would likely mean minutes for forgotten man Jon Flanagan, highlighting the fact that defence remains this Liverpool side’s big question mark.