Six Liverpool players that can expect to make more of an impact in 2019-20
It doesn’t appear that Liverpool will be splashing the cash in the transfer market as they did last summer.
New signings Fabinho and Alisson made a big impact at Anfield, while Virgil van Dijk enjoyed his first full season and Naby Keita eventually joined after RB Leipzig agreed a fee the year before. This time it appears Jurgen Klopp is happy with his Champions League-winning squad, only adding young prospect Sepp van den Berg while there’s no suggestion any players are targetted for the first team.
But that’s not to say there’s not a crop of academy products and previously-sidelined players that won’t make a difference. Here are six players that will hope to feature a lot more going during the 2019-20 season:
Training with the first team squad since he was 16, this could be the breakthrough campaign for Brewster.
Top scorer as England won the Under-17 World Cup in 2017, the Liverpool youngster looked just as special as his team-mates Phil Foden and Callum Hudson-Odoi, but he had to be patient for senior opportunities after ligament damage ruled him out for the majority of the 2018-19 season.
He looks to have recovered from that, making the bench for Liverpool in that 4-0 win over Barcelona, whilst looking sharp in pre-season. He scored twice in Liverpool’s 6-0 win over Tranmere and should get plenty more opportunities in friendlies.
At the very least, he’s ready to be given a chance in the domestic cups and as an impact substitute.
Lallana was an important player in the early years of Klopp’s reign, but a number of factors have seen him fall down the pecking order. He made just five league starts last season, totalling 465 minutes in Liverpool’s 97-point campaign.
But he returned to pre-season early and if he can put the injuries behind him, he’ll be another solid option for the club’s increasingly stacked midfield.
Klopp himself couldn’t help but use the “like a new player” cliche and namechecked Lallana in particular as a player that can have more of an impact going forward. He has his manager’s trust.
Another frustrating injury last season, Keita’s debut campaign in Merseyside didn’t exactly go to plan.
Having spent the early months of the season looking inconsistent, often a shadow of the dynamic box-to-box player seen at RB Leipzig, Keita was finally starting to perform at his best during the final decisive months of the 2018-19, scoring goals in wins over Southampton and Huddersfield.
But he suffered an injury in May and was sidelined for the win over Barcelona and the final, as well as the last few weeks of the title race as the Reds narrowly missed out to City. He’ll be hoping for more than 16 league starts in his second season.
The former Arsenal man spent over a year out of action after the horror injury he suffered against Roma in the Champions League semi-final clash. Last season, he returned for just a couple of brief substitute appearances in the Spring following knee reconstruction surgery and a year of recovery.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was just starting to show exactly what he can offer when he suffered that injury. He memorably scored an absolute rocket to put Liverpool two goals ahead in the 3-0 win over City and looked to have staked his place as an option driving forward behind the front three.
Liverpool fans have every reason to be excited if he returns as good as he was.
Liverpool had a number of players who impressed out on loan last season.
Harry Wilson finished the season as Derby’s top scorer, establishing a special highlights reel of long-range strikes, most memorably a brilliant top-corner pearler at Old Trafford as the Rams knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup.
But if paper talk is to be believed, it’s actually Kent who has been earmarked by Klopp as the most likely to feature for the first team next season. He impressed in his spell at Rangers, scoring six goals from the wing, and if media reports are correct, Steven Gerrard won’t get him back for next season.
Shaqiri had a strange season after joining from Stoke last summer. He came up with a few big moments, notably a pair of goals off the bench as Liverpool beat Manchester United 3-1, whilst his inch-perfect cross in for Georginio Wijnaldum was a vital moment in the 4-0 comeback against Barcelona.
Despite that, Shaqiri was far from a regular fixture, making just 11 Premier League starts. Very much a squad option, he’ll nevertheless hope for more going forward.