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Season Kick-Off Optimism: The Liverpool FC 2020/2021 Squad Wish List

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Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst, are you gonna score the ball or not?

Liverpool Training Session Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Just like that, we’re mere days away from the kick-off of the 2020/2021 season. This new season sure snuck up on many of us who have been bathing in the warm afterglow of champagne and good feelings in the wake of our league title victory.

And as the Reds prepare to start the defence of their Premier League title, we start our couch-watching season with a big tub of kool-aid, some prayers and goals of our own for the first-team squad.


Goalkeepers


Alisson Becker: Less untimely injuries before crucial Champions League ties, please. And maybe this year, Ali can save a penalty. Oh, and he has to play some guitar with Jamie Webster, whenever audiences are allowed.

Adrian: Carabao and FA Cup ties only, please. Also, the whole thing where Adrian rented out an empty stadium to showcase the three medals he won over the season was rather bizarre, but if it means we win another three trophies this season... I’ll allow it.

Loris Karius: It’s unlikely that Loris will stay in Merseyside in the long-term, but it’s genuinely been nice to see him happy in training. I hope he finds a new, less problematic club and that he continues whatever’s been working for him, whether it’s going to therapy or uploading thirst traps on Instagram.


Defenders


Trent Alexander-Arnold: The Professional Footballers’ Association Young Player of the Year managed to smash his assist record from the previous season so a third consecutive record tally would be nice. May Trent also continue occupying space throughout the city with more murals done in his honour.

Virgil van Dijk: The big Dutchman was the only Liverpool FC player to feature in every league game last campaign, and that Iron Man quality will undoubtedly be critical to a successful title defence. Big Virg tormenting a young Evertonian on Kop Kids was also a welcome addition to LFC viral content. I’m also hoping for more sightings of VVD dancing to techno since that means we’ve won something.

Joe Gomez: Big Joe has been looking shaky since the restart. Here’s hoping he recovers his 18/19 form. Do whatever you have to big man, even if it’s baiting Sterling into another fight while on international duty.

Andy Robertson: The ever-pressing Scotsman looks set to continue his assist duel with Trent. With the latter starting the season off hampered by an injury, Robbo’s edge in sharpness may be what wins it for him this time.

Neco Williams: Our backup right-back scored a game-winning goal for Wales this past week. Who knew this was in his locker? Save some of this magical pixie dust for your club, please.

Kostas Tsimikas: Get well soon, Kostas!

Joel Matip: Our magnificent striding giraffe misses too much time on the injury list. Here’s wishing for less niggling injuries this season so he can romp through the plains of Anfield.


Midfielders


Fabinho: Fab displayed more of his offensive arsenal last season, with a couple of long-range bangers and lovely scooped through balls into the box. More of that. He’s also displayed some rather obvious match sharpness issues when playing after any extended breaks so it’ll be great if he can avoid missing regular game time, mmkay?

Georginio Wijnaldum: *hoarse crying* der der der der der der please stay Wijnaldum...

James Milner: Our ever-reliable vice-captain doesn’t have to play backup left-back anymore! Rejoice! I’m looking for dependable minutes from Mr Ribena and for him to deliver clutch late penalty heroics once again. Any flashbacks to when Milner became the leading assists man in a single Champions League campaign would be a giant bonus.

Naby Keita: Number 8 is our best bet towards improving goal contributions from midfield as defences scramble to stop our fullbacks. Naby finally had a run of games after the restart and looked pretty good in them. I also wish for more of his personality to shine through. It feels like he’s been at the club for a while already, and I still have no idea who he is at all.

Jordan Henderson: Our captain had a phenomenal season so it’s tough to see where else he could improve on. Other than providing leadership and doing the dirty work in midfield, I foresee a screamer or two in his locker this season. Another “Internet-breaking” video like the Chaokoh Creative Pitch Meeting would be the cherry on top of everything.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: The Ox always brings a different dimension to the midfield with his directness and nose for goals, but I’d like to see him take a step with his final ball delivery. A plea for no Ox on the wing, unless absolutely necessary, Jurgen.

Curtis Jones: I’d like to see the scouser who’s more scouse than you follow in the footsteps of a certain someone who also wore the number 17 jersey. No pressure. Jokes aside, I expect Curtis to play even more than the man he’s replacing (Lallana) and provide energy and some creativity to a midfield that can go through some dry spells at times. If he’s able to do that and bag goals that embarrass Everton along the way... *chef’s kiss*

Harvey Elliot: I don’t expect Harvey to feature all that much other than cup games and coming on as the human victory cigar. However, the question I have is: is he going to cut his hair now since he’s just bagged his first goal for LFC, or does he wait for his first competitive goal before moving on from his hairstyle?


Attackers


Roberto Firmino: A repeat of last season’s home goal drought must not happen. Beyond that, I expect Bobby to continue dazzling on or off the ball and continue his one-person campaign to redefine assist celebrations.

Sadio Mane: One of our best performers from the past season, I expect Sadio to go from strength to strength and perhaps make a strong push for a top Player of The Year type award in England or Europe. Oh, and keep on smiling my man.

Mohamed Salah: Mo remains the spearhead of our attack. It’d be nice if his goal tally tipped a little to his 17/18 levels. He was also making some progress with using his weaker right foot as the season went along, and that would undoubtedly be a welcome development as defences continue to give him their fullest attention. More tweets to Dejan Lovren showcasing his budding new best friend in Kostas would be very welcome.

Takumi Minamino: The King of Pre-Packed Gyoza Cooking looked sharp and more comfortable in the last few games of the restart and this pre-season, so I expect him to garner the lion’s share of the non-front three minutes. Those three have played a crazy amount of football over the past three years, so expect plenty of minutes for Taki. I’m tossing a coin in hopes of double-digit goal contributions from the tireless Japanese attacker.

Rhian Brewster: Whether he stays at Liverpool or goes on loan, Punky Brewster’s going to score goals. This guy’s too much of a natural goalscorer to not play. How much he scores though, depends on the club he plays for this season. I think he goes on loan to another Premier League club and scores more than ten goals, cementing himself as a bonafide PL goal-getter in the process. Fingers crossed.

Xherdan Shaqiri: Shaq played so little last season, and it seemed like he would have left the club if not for COVID-19. Somehow, he still managed to get on the scoresheet against our blue neighbours. Any improvement would have to begin with him being available for squad selection. It’s a very low bar for the Swiss man to clear. Here’s hoping for one sweet free-kick goal from him.

Divock Origi: Planet Divock started brightly last season, but seemed to disappear as the season trudged along. I’m hoping for some easy goals for our favourite zen striker, and continued misery for Everton while Divock celebrates sheepishly.


What about you? Think someone will score from the halfway line? Reckon a youngster like Sepp van den Berg could nail a spot in the rotation? Let us know in the comments.