With various reports claiming that Liverpool FC’s transfer business done and dusted, we look at what is the best XI for the Merseyside outfit will be, following a second successive summer of frantic transfer activity.
Liverpool FC signed 8 players in the summer transfer window, having sold Raheem Sterling to Manchester City over the summer for A?49 million.
This was the second high profile sale by the club in as many season, with Martin Skrtel and Jordan Henderson the only two first team regulars still key players as they were three season ago.
Amidst so many changes, it may get confusing for the manager to know his best XI, and no wonder Liverpool FC endured a poor season last year.
History may very well repeat itself, if the manager is not able to clearly identify his best players and formation. With Liverpool FC striker Daniel Sturridge expected to be out till the away tie against Manchester United in September, the following XI might be the best for the Reds, till the striker returns.
Formation 4-3-3: Rodgers has said over the summer, that he may very well go back to the 4-3-3 formation. If the Stoke game is anything to go by, he is clearly sticking to it and for good reason as we see below that it might very well be the best formation with the players are his disposal.
Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet
This is a pretty straightforward choice, given that Adam Bogdan the back up goalkeeper at Liverpool FC. The big Belgian has been simply faultless since returning to the squad after being dropped in December, 2014. Against Stoke, again, he pulled off a wonderful save off a free kick that beat everyone and was threatening to go in before a late reflex save ensured Liverpool FC blanked out Stoke.
Defenders: Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno
Nathaniel Clyne pretty picks himself, given the lack of options in addition to his good form over the last season and pre-season with Liverpool.
Manager Brendan Rodgers has indicated that he prefers Dejan Lovren over Mahmadou Sakho, as per reports. However, it comes as somewhat of a surprise given the form of Sakho was in last season, leading many to label him as Liverpool’s best centre-back. There is little doubt that Sakho should be getting the nod ahead of Lovren in the Liverpool FC XI.
The big debate comes in at the left back position. Youngster Joe Gomez putting in a series of superb performances in pre-season and looking decent, if not good, in his first game against Stoke.
However, the consistency required at this level, against top quality opposition might become too much for the player as he tires in his first full season in top flight football.
One mustn’t forget that the Spaniard Alberto Moreno, for all his defensive frailties, is only 23 himself. He is going to learn only with experience and over the last couple of seasons, first with Sevilla and then last season with Liverpool FC, he has shown enough promise to indicate he can become a top left sided defender in future. Moreno must be afforded the chance to play for Liverpool FC on a regular basis and he is good enough to do so.
Midfield: Henderson, Milner, Coutinho
Liverpool FC played with the trio against Stoke City and it was easy to see why. Work rate, creativity, passing range, ability to score goals, tactical intelligence – all traits are in abundant in this midfield.
With the trio’s ability to shut out space through intelligent positioning and pressing, it might be difficult for opponents to break the midfield down. The presence of Coutinho ensures the craft in the central area of Liverpool FC, a team that has built it’s success in recent times by attacking through the middle.
Missing out is Emre Can, who is still raw and might be preferred to start in some games where Liverpool FC need to further tighten up the defense. Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva, can at best, serve as back-ups.
Attack: Benteke, Ibe, Firmino
Missing out in the attack is Livepool’s A?25 million man Adam Lallana. While there is little doubt that Lallana is a very talented player, he is not getting any younger and injury has really hit him hard in his first season at Liverpool FC. On the other hand, Jordan Ibe is the sort of player who has pace, power, and the promise to go on and become something special. The player has the ability to score goals and was putting in an extra shift in the summer to improve it, which was pretty evident as he was the best Liverpool player in the pre-season. Surely, such hard work and performance have to be rewarded.
Roberto Firmino on the other hand, possesses clever movement, deft skills and finishing ability to score and create chances in the final third. Liverpool FC need these attributes, given the lack of goal scorers in the young side.
Lazar Markovic is the other player missing out. Given the way the Serb has been playing in the pre-season, it looks like his Anfield move has come a couple of years too early. Markovic looks like a fish out of water at the club.
Danny Ings, Divock Origi can at best, act as back up to Benteke.