For Liverpool, the 2018-19 season was a good one, what with racking up 97 points in the league and winning their sixth European Cup and having the best squad they’ve ever had, at least in the Premier League era.
The consistent message since it ended, though, has been that unlike in the past when the Reds have had a strong season, 2018-19 isn’t meant to be the high point or the end of it. Not for this group and this manager.
“I think the future looks pretty bright,” was Virgil van Dijk’s take on the matter this week. “We have a fantastic team with players that want to develop, that want to give everything for the team and for the club.
“Sometimes you don’t even realise how good [a group] of players we have—and also on the bench that want to play and be part of the team. So we have a fantastic future coming up. Everyone has been fantastic.”
Everyone certainly has been. Hence the bit with 97 points and a sixth European Cup. But with most of the players either in the midst of their prime years or just getting into them, there’s still room to grow.
And while Van Dijk’s focus is understandably on the defence—where Alisson is 26 and Andy Robertson 25 and Trent Alexander-Arnold just 20—the same could be said about this group of players from front to back.
“If you look around the team, Robbo has had his best season ever,” Van dijk added. “Trent has been amazing for such a young guy, so mature. And all the centre-backs. And obviously the rest of the team.”