Liverpool aren’t the same team they were last season.
Injuries have played a huge part in Liverpool not being able to hit the heights of their title-winning campaign, but other issues including Alisson’s form and Thiago Alcantara struggling to fit in have seen the Reds fall outside of the top four places.
Manchester City are running away with the title, which means this season is something of a write-off for Liverpool.
But Jurgen Klopp will be expected to make a go of it next season, and a few new faces in the dressing room would certainly help the German’s cause.
Liverpool are always linked with a number of top players – some realistic targets and some perhaps even out of reach for the Reds.
Here we look at a dream scenario for Liverpool in which they strengthen, despite saying goodbye to two key players, and go into the new season ready to win the title.
Keeping his place between the sticks is of course Alisson.
The goalkeeper hasn’t been at his best this season, as aforementioned, and dropped two clangers in the defeat by Manchester City before making another mistake leading to a goal against Leicester City.
But on his day, which is more often than not, he’s arguably the best keeper in the top-flight.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson will also both keep their places on the flanks.
Again, on their day the duo are two of the best full-backs in world football and Klopp will see no need to replace either of them.
Liverpool will see the long-awaited return of Virgil van Dijk at centre-back next season.
The Netherlands international is one of the best defenders on the planet, but he’s missed the vast majority of this campaign with an ACL injury sustained in October’s Merseyside derby.
His absence alone has been attributed to Liverpool’s fall from grace this season, and the confidence it will restore just having him back in the squad could prove crucial for the Reds next season.
Should every injured Liverpool star recover as is expected then Klopp will have a whole host of defenders to partner with Van Dijk including; Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Fabinho.
But Klopp has had his eye on a new centre-back for some time now, and after being priced out of a deal for Ibrahima Konate in the January transfer window, may look to rekindle his interest at the end of the season.
The 22-year-old Frenchman at RB Leipzig could cost upwards of £60million, and the German club, who just parted with Dayot Upamecano, may be even more determined to keep hold of the centre-back as a result.
But if Klopp really wants his man, to protect against lightning striking twice next season, then it might just be in his best interest to splash the cash.
Moving into midfield and we’re pretty sure that Klopp will want to persevere with Thiago next season.
The Spaniard is world-class, there is no getting away from that, it’s just he’s struggled to get to grips with Klopp’s frenetic style of play this season, and this has slowed down Liverpool’s attacks.
All is not lost though. Thiago has experience playing in a high-pressing Bayern Munich side, so it shouldn’t take Klopp too long to work out how best to utilise the midfielder in his system.
Klopp has a number of good options to join Thiago in midfield, and we expect Jordan Henderson to retain his position as Liverpool captain in the middle of the park.
Fabinho will also feature heavily for the Reds next season both in defence and in midfield. The Brazilian has proven himself to be one of Klopp’s most important players this campaign; a man willing to roll up his sleeves for the cause.
Georginio Wijnaldum is out of contract in the summer and expected to leave on a free for Barcelona.
This will be a huge loss for the Reds as the Dutchman does a lot of the dirty jobs no one else wants to do for Liverpool; he’s the kind of player you’d only miss once he’s gone.
Klopp will be very aware of this, and we expect him to sign a new midfielder as a result.
We’ve selected a man who has been on Liverpool’s radar for quite some time – in fact, Klopp was looking at him before the Reds splashed the cash and signed Wijnaldum from Newcastle.
This man is Piotr Zielinski, who is currently at Napoli. The midfielder was linked with a £12million move to Liverpool back in 2016 when he was at Empoli on loan from Udinese.
He’s defined by his hard-working, intense pressing style that would make him adept at playing in a Klopp team.
Looking at the attackers, and we can see more players heading for the exit this summer with both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah linked with moves to Spain.
Liverpool won’t let both players go, and we believe if one is more likely to leave than the other then it is Salah.
Real Madrid are keen on the Egyptian, who has even hinted in interviews he’d be open to a new challenge in a new country.
Salah’s exit would mean money in the pot for a good replacement, and we’ve selected the dream signing to end all dream signings: Kylian Mbappe.
The Frenchman would cost an obscene amount of money, which would likely rule Liverpool out of contention even with cash from the sale of Salah.
But Mbappe has previously heaped praise on Klopp, and the World Cup winner would no doubt be up for testing himself in the Premier League with a team like Liverpool.
And finally, we’ve selected Roberto Firmino to retain his place at the top of the attacking diamond.
The Brazilian gets stick from time to time and his lack of goals has been problematic this season, but Firmino is still the starting point of Klopp’s Gegenpress and for that reason he’s very important to Liverpool’s success.