Sadio Mane’s inevitable departure from Liverpool this summer has worryingly reminded Reds fans that their stars won’t be at the club forever.
After Champions League and Premier League success with this squad over the last few years, many supporters will fear for their future beyond this current crop of players.
Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, Roberto Firmino, Virgil Van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Alisson, Fabinho and Andy Robertson are all 28-years-old or older.
Whilst many of them – goalkeeper Alisson, in particular – will continue to play at the top level for a few more years, the Reds need to start looking at the future.
But, as always, Liverpool seem to be well prepared.
When you initially look at the squad, you look at the players above and worry that it might be a struggle to replace them.
However, looking more closely, there are plenty of youngsters ready to come in – which is mainly down to good planning from the club.
New club-record signing Darwin Nunez is just one of the players that are 25 or younger that are ready to be a part of Jurgen Klopp’s new wave of stars.
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Key man Trent Alexander-Arnold is just 23, whilst Harvey Elliott (19), Curtis Jones (21), Ibrahima Konate (23), Luis Diaz (25), Diogo Jota (25), and Joe Gomez (25) are all yet to reach their peak.
Four of those players have been signed over the last couple of years, whilst Alexander-Arnold, Jones and Gomez have been at the club for a while and slowly integrated into the first-team squad.
Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsay could be the next player to join that list of youngsters, with the Reds reportedly agreeing a fee for the 18-year-old right-back.
It’s another example of great business from the club and has been completed despite the departure of sporting director Michael Edwards.
Julian Ward has settled smoothly into his new role having stepped up from deputy sporting director this summer, and it highlights the forward-planning that goes into running a successful football club.
Whilst many praise Klopp, and rightly so, for the work he’s done, Liverpool is more than just the manager and so much hard work comes from the hierarchy above him.
And they might be very busy next summer, with Borussia Dortmund Jude Bellingham reportedly the next man they want to add to their squad of superstars.
The Liverpool Echo are reporting that the next priority for Liverpool is to sign a midfielder – but there won’t be any more signings until next summer.
Dortmund seem unlikely to sell him this year anyway, with Erling Haaland joining Manchester City, so the Reds may have to wait until then to get the next piece in their squad-building jigsaw.
They will have to rival both Real Madrid and Man United for his signature, but there’s no reason why he wouldn’t want to come to Anfield over the other two giants linked with him.
It would leave them ready to attack the next decade with another group of elite footballers and, unlike some clubs who have nosedived after a long-serving manager leaves, it’s unlikely to happen on Merseyside.
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