There wasn’t much sign of Liverpool’s new-found depth over the first month of the season, as Jürgen Klopp mostly stuck with an unchanged eleven through the opening four league fixtures. Now, though, playing two games a week in three competitions, it’s needed.
Now, it’s a chance for any player who started the year on the bench to prove he belongs in the starting conversation. On Tuesday against Paris Saint-Germain, Daniel Sturridge got his turn, impressing everyone watching—including teammate Andy Robertson.
“Behind the scenes and at training we’re all hungry to go for starting places,” Robertson told the club’s official website. “Some people won’t play as much as they want, especially when it has been Saturday to Saturday and the gaffer has kind of stuck with his team.
“But we have got a lot of games coming up so everyone will be required. Studge sums it up—he comes on, plays 70 minutes, and does unbelievably against a top side and two very good centre-backs [and] credit to him.”
Robertson certainly knows how hard it can be to sit on the bench and wait for your turn as he started last season on the fringes of the first team—but he also knows more than most what’s possible if you take your chances when they come.
And those chances will come more and more frequently now. For Sturridge, another start against Chelsea in the League Cup next Wednesday seems a safe bet, and if Klopp wants to give Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah any rest each could sit out one of the next two.
That would likely mean back-to-back starts for Xherdan Shaqiri, and the situation is similar in midfield where James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum both need at least one of the next two matches off to rest their legs—meaning Fabinho will get his chance.
The start of the season, with one game a week and Liverpool’s squad looking as good and deep as it ever has, was always going to be difficult for some of the players. Now, like Sturridge against PSG, they’ll start to get their chances.