Liverpool have a squad that on their day can beat anyone in England. They know that much from their strong autumn run last season, when they looked convincing for a time as league leaders. Then, a thin squad caught up with them; injuries and exhaustion and a packed winter schedule took their toll.
They headed into the summer knowing they needed to improve the squad and bring in quality depth, something that remains a priority despite difficulties so far landing some of their key targets. If it all goes to play, it will mean more competition for last year’s starters, but Jordan Henderson isn’t worried.
“There are a lot of good players in this squad but you need that when you are going into a big season with a lot of games,” said the Liverpool captain. “You need that competition and people fighting, but as the manager keeps saying: it’s not about the people that play and start the game, it’s about the whole squad.
“Whether you are on the bench or in the squad for the game, it’s the whole squad that makes the big difference throughout the season if you can stay together as a group. Whether [Jürgen Klopp] brings in new players or not, I feel as though he’s got a lot of confidence in us and that transcends into when we go and play.”
That confidence was reflected in Henderson’s stellar play as the single-pivot in Klopp’s three-man midfield last season, and the early signs from pre-season are that he could be ready to take another step this year and confirm his place as one of the Premier League’s top midfielders—at least if he can stay fit.
That, though—fitness and form and the potential for exhaustion that comes with not just a busy domestic schedule but also a return to Europe and the Champions League—is why the club still need a few signings. Confident or not, talented or not, more quality and depth is required for Liverpool to really push on.
“I’m sure we will [continue to improve], and that will put us in good stead going into the new season,” Henderson added. “If we do bring new players in then great because it will strengthen the squad and push us on to achieve good things.”