It’s been an interesting summer for Liverpool, who have offloaded a huge number of experienced first-team regulars but only brought in a couple of new faces.
Liverpool’s midfield was a serious issue as they struggled last season, failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in seven years.
That’s the area they’ve addressed in the transfer market this summer, while James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino have all departed Anfield.
So what can we expect from Liverpool’s new-look midfield in 2023-24? We’ve taken a closer look at Liverpool’s two new additions and assessed how they’ve fared in pre-season.
Signed from RB Leipzig at the start of July, Szoboszlai arrived in good time to get well-acquainted with his new club.
The Hungarian has played a prominent role in Liverpool’s summer friendlies, having made his first appearance off the bench at half-time in a 4-2 comeback victory at Karlsruhe.
Last season Szoboszlai featured on the right side of Leipzig’s midfield, but he has extensive experience – particularly at international level – on the left, which is where he’s been utilised so far for Liverpool.
He completed 44 of 46 passes in his first 45 minutes for the Reds and was praised by Jurgen Klopp for his counter-pressing.
Szoboszlai was also introduced at the break in Liverpool’s 4-0 victory over Leicester City in Singapore before starting alongside Curtis Jones and Alexis Mac Allister in a 4-3 defeat to Bayern Munich – but he was withdrawn when Liverpool were still leading going into the final 15 minutes.
Against Bayern, he didn’t show a great deal in possession, but was a physical presence in the middle of the park and demonstrated his ability to cover ground and press the opposition.
Alexis Mac Allister
Liverpool haven’t been especially busy in the transfer market this summer, but they wasted no time in getting Mac Allister through the door.
Outstanding in Argentina’s World Cup triumph and Brighton’s best Premier League campaign to date, the 24-year-old was captured for a bargain £35million back in early June.
Mac Allister was withdrawn for Szoboszlai against Karlsruhe and Leicester, so it wasn’t until the Bayern match that fans were treated to the two new buys together.
It looked a promising enough pairing, but didn’t last long; Mac Allister hobbled off following a knee-on-knee collision.
Klopp allayed any fears after the match, telling reporters: “When I spoke afterwards, he said, ‘No, no, I would have been fine.’ But we didn’t want to go [with] any risks. It’s just knee on knee, bruise, that’s it. It was fine.”
Prior to that, Mac Allister has looked sharp and looks ready-made to play the energetic No.8 role in Klopp’s new-look midfield.
“It’s just a position. When you play football and you understand football, you can play wherever you want and that’s my idea,” he told Liverpool’s official website.
“I try to understand football a little bit more every day. I feel it’s a position that I fit really well.”