2022/23 Season preview: Liverpool


Liverpool’s bitter-sweet ending to last season may have left supporters questioning “what could’ve been?” but the Reds can be optimistic about the new campaign.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds firmly cemented themselves as one of the greatest club sides of the generation last campaign with a League Cup and FA Cup double, falling agonizingly short of a historic quadruple after losing out on Premier League glory to Manchester City on the final day and in the Champions League Final, where they fell 1-0 to a Thibaut Courtois inspired Real Madrid.

This summer has been a transitional one for Klopp, saying farewell to club legend and mainstay of the Red’s dynasty, Sadio Mane, in a £35m move to German giants Bayern Munich as well as seeing squad players Divock Origi depart to AC Milan on a free and Takumi Minamino leave for Monaco in a £13.5m move.

The face of this ‘new era’ at Anfield could well be 23-year-old, Uruguayan striker, Darwin Nunez, who joined the six-time European Champions from Benfica for £67.5m and has already made his mark on English soil.

With an hour gone of this year’s Community Shield game between Manchester City and Liverpool, new-boy Nunez was introduced onto the pitch with a point to prove as he replaced Roberto Firmino.

A more traditional ‘old-school’ number nine than his Brazilian counterpart, Nunez impressed off the ball with runs in-behind the tiring City defence, causing problems for Nathan Ake and the world-class Ruben Dias.

The Portuguese League’s Golden Boot winner won a decisive penalty for the Reds after peeling off his man from a Mohammed Salah cross, where Nunez’s header struck the hand of Dias, resulting in a penalty for Liverpool.

The resulting spot-kick was struck home by the Egyptian to make the game 2-1 with seven minutes left on the clock.

In added time, Nunez got his debut goal to seal Liverpool’s name on the Community Shield, a header from close range, to send the Red’s fans at the King Power Stadium into sheer pandemonium.

If Nunez can carry this form into the season, Jurgen Klopp will have some player on his hands.

Two other new signings have joined up with Klopp’s squad this summer, 19-year-old attacking-midfielder Fabio Carvalho from newly-promoted Fulham for £5.3m.

18-year-old fullback Calvin Ramsey also came through the door at Anfield in a £4.4m deal from Aberdeen, replacing the outgoing Neco Williams, who joined up with Steve Cooper’s Nottingham Forest for £18m.

The three new arrivals only help to bolster Klopp’s squad, improving an already stacked roster of players in a year where the five-substitute rule returns to the Premier League, meaning their stars can be rotated more often, but who exactly are Liverpool’s ‘stars’ going into the 22/23 season?

When discussing the Merseyside greats, you cannot look past the jewel in Jurgen Klopp’s team, the ‘Egyptian King’, Mohammed Salah.

The now 30-year-old has been ripping apart Premier League defences for half a decade, since signing from Roma in 2017, and shows no sign of stopping. The catalyst behind countless ‘pinch-yourself’ moments for thousands of Liverpudlians has never managed below 19 goals in a Premier League season.

Coming off his second most prolific League campaign last term, where he amassed 23 goals and 14 assists, he will surely be Jurgen Klopp’s go-to-man in his first season in Red without Sadio Mane.

Fullbacks Trent-Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson will continue to be instrumental to this style of play, getting high up the pitch in the wider areas, not only allowing wingers, Salah, and likely Luis Diaz, to cut inside, attack the penalty area, and score goals but also allow the two fullbacks to cross the ball into crowded areas.

The importance of Alexander-Arnold and Robertson in the system is shown in their respective goal contribution numbers year-in year out as last season England international Alexander-Arnold managed 14 across 32 League games, while Robertson acquired 13. They are essential to this Liverpool side.

In midfielder Thiago Alcantara, Liverpool have themselves a pure footballing genius, whose seemingly effortless performances are a joy to watch as he dictates the game from central midfield.

The Man of the Match in the 2020 Champions League Final is a magician, seeing passes and moves simply not visible to the naked eye and he pulls them off with ease, making him a crucial asset to Klopp as he can break through the lines with that bit of brilliance nobody else is capable of.

If the Community Shield performance was anything to go by, where Klopp’s men out-ran and out-battled Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, we can expect the high-pressing, high-octane style of play, which Klopp’s side is synonymous with, to continue going into the new season, where they will once again be contenders for all four major honours.

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