How will Liverpool line up in 2017/18?

Let's see who Liverpool might lineup next season, bare in mind this is part fantasy part rumour. Let's get straight into it.

At number one is the goalkeeper who started and ended last season between the posts. There was of course among that period he was replaced by new signing Loris Karius, but Mignolet had regained the number one position just before Christmas and went on to finish the season strongly. We start him as number one again this season as a result.

But he'll face competition and not just from the German Karius, who is better than he has shown so far at the Reds, but because Liverpool starts with three goalkeepers who fancy that number one position. With Danny Ward back from a promising spell on loan playing the sort of high-line Klopp likes. So while the spot is Mingolet's for now, that can change quickly.

Goalkeepers form has been a major issue to Liverpool woes last few seasons and one of the main factors of them dropping points. Shoot stoppers will have to up their game if they want to stand any chance of winning the title with the odds of 10/1 suggested by major betting sites.

Now to right-back where things are somewhat straight forward for Nathaniel Clyne. The 26-year-old was comfortably the most used defender for the Reds last season, and it seems unlikely the likes of John Flanagan or Trent Alexander-Arnold will be changing that this campaign. If there is a criticism of Clyne, it is not his defensive ability but his final ball and decision making when presented with time and space, but we still see his position in this team as safe.

It is the other full-back position that needs far more discussion.

James Milner was thrown here last season after Jurgen Klopp finally saw through Alberto Moreno's rubbishing personation of a left-back. But Milner, at 31 and far more at home in midfield, can not be number one option going into the new season. The Reds have been linked with a quite of candidates here as a result, including Celtic's Kieran Tierney, Andy Robertson of Hull and Fulham F.C. teenager Ryan Sessegnon.

We think a far expensive option is best here and we're going for Monaco's Benjamin Mendy. The 22-year-old France international has been convened by a few English clubs this summer, but he'd be a snug fit for the Reds. Mendy has considerably improved the defensive side of his game to compliment his natural desire to get forward, meaning he'd go well with the attacking talent ahead of him on the pitch in this team.

Benjamin Mendy (left) is the left-back Reds need.



Now to the middle of the defence where Joel Matip is a comfortable first choice. The Cameroon international adapted well to the life in the Premier League after moving from German's side FC Schalke 04, and he'll continue to pull strings here this season. But he needs a better partner in 2017/18. With that in mind, we are going to overlook Dejan Lovren here, as well as the returning Joe Gomez and Estonian Ragnar Klavan.

Instead, we'll place Virgil van Dijk alongside Matip. Now, we know this deal will be though. Liverpool was made to look very sheepish after they were accused of courting the Dutchman too closely for Southampton's liking, and it will take some serious sweet-talk for the Reds to reinvigorate this move.

Now on to the midfield.

Anchoring this is captain Jordan Henderson, who is nearing the end of a long road back from injury. Henderson didn't play for the Reds from early February last term due to the foot injury and was missed for his ability to pull strings in midfield and his leadership. Henderson's passing rate of 85.9% in tighter spaces than many of his teammates with superior rates last season show just how good he is with the ball and his return is crucial for the Reds.

Next to him is another Englishman in Adam Lallana. Lallana has struggled to shake off the stigma of the 25 million Pound fee Liverpool paid Southampton for him in 2014. But the 2016 England player of the year might finally be free of the burden. His eight goals and seven assists last season largely came in the first half of the campaign, and he'll enjoy having his skipper next to him in the coming one.

Now, completing the midfield trio is not Lucas Leiva, Emre Can, or even Wijnaldum who impressed in his debut season for the Reds, no, on the other side of Henderson is the trickiest of Brazilians, Philippe Coutinho. Among the ever-growing galaxy of attacking stars at Liverpool, Coutinho shines the brightest. The end of his 2016/17 campaign with eight goals and two assists in his last 13 league games will have Red's fans throffing at the mouth this term.

Now to the guys up front.

And let's start front and centre, again some big names miss out, namely the hardworking Divock Origi and the part miraculous Daniel Sturridge on the rear occasions, of course, when he is fit.

At the top of this eleven is Roberto Firmino. Firmino's smarts, skills, and speed make him the perfect man to lead this Reds attack. And we expect even more from him than the 13 goals and seven assists he claimed last season. He'll need to deliver of course if he wants to stay top of club's list here.

On his left is Sadio Mane, another who fits this club approach. An exceptional dribbler, unpredictable and unselfish, Mane, like Henderson is likely to be back to full fitness at the start of the new campaign, and it is important he is.

Mohamed Salah from Roma in a deal rumoured to be worth up to 35 million Pounds



And now to our final place and a new face. Just in case we thought Liverpool had enough attacking talent already, Klopp has gone and brought in Mohamed Salah from Roma in a deal rumoured to be worth up to 35 million Pounds. The Egyptian wanted to get to Liverpool when he left Chelsea permanently last season but ended up at Roma instead. And to great effect, that move worked out thanks to 19 goals and 12 assists. But the Reds finally have their man, and with his touch and eye for creating scoring chances he adds to this attack is almost mind-blowing. At 25 and with the desire to show Chelsea that he could have made it in the Premier League all along we expect some big things from Salah this season.

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FM 2018 Blog - Football Manager 2018: How will Liverpool line up in 2017/18?
How will Liverpool line up in 2017/18?
Let's see how Liverpool side could look like in the upcoming Premier League season.
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