Home2022/23Liverpool Defence: 3 Questions, 2 Positives

Liverpool Defence: 3 Questions, 2 Positives


This season has been the most erratic of Jurgen Klopp’s reign as Liverpool manager, with sublime and hopeless performances in equal measure. The 7-0 victory over Man United and the 1-0 away defeat at Bournemouth, just six days apart, are a prime example of this. Klopp himself commented on the strange nature of the season before the 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest, and it is clear that there is no telling what kind of Liverpool side will be presented from week to week. However, there have been numerous occasions in which the team has looked like the one that won all the trophies we could have dreamed of.

The defensive issues have been plain to see, but the root of the problem has been difficult to pinpoint. Ibrahima Konate’s season has been hampered by injuries, and with Joel Matip entering the final year of his contract and Joe Gomez struggling to nail down a place in the starting eleven, there have been calls for defensive reinforcement this summer.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has looked like a man possessed since being shifted into a more advanced role, and his performances in this hybrid right-back/defensive midfield role have highlighted the impact he can have with the shackles loosened.

The lack of a complete quota of fully fit attacking options has made it difficult to get an insight into Klopp’s preferences, but Luis Diaz was a standout performer on the left side prior to his injury, with Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota sharing his slot in recent weeks. Cody Gakpo has impressed through the middle after a slow start to his Anfield career, while Mohamed Salah’s place on the right remains unchallenged.

Alisson has been Liverpool’s best player this season, and his quality has been brought into greater focus by the shortcomings elsewhere. He is shown himself to be the best one-on-one shot stopper on the planet and has rescued an immeasurable number of points for his side.

It is difficult to forecast what could come next as Liverpool were two games from immortality in 2021/22 and very few could have predicted the downfall that has ensued since then. A midfield rebuild is both inevitable and essential, and with three seasons left on his current deal, there is an inescapable sense that there are more chapters of Klopp’s Liverpool story still to be written.

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