John Gibbons: The 4 players Liverpool need to be champions

Our Liverpool-loving writer looks at what his club needs to bridge the tiny gap to Man City and finally claim the title they crave the most.

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Liverpool’s season isn’t over yet, but the recruitment team will have been planning next season for a long time already.

It seems strange to be thinking of new players when the current crop still have a huge game of football to play, but given Liverpool announced the signing of Fabinho before most of us were even back from Kiev, new arrivals might be coming in sooner than we think.

So, I’ve had a think about what Liverpool potentially need and who might realistically come in. Let me know what you think!

Jurgen Klopp

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Forward

The most obvious area to strengthen is up top, where there remains too much of a drop off in quality from the first-choice front three to the substitutes. Daniel Sturridge is likely to leave and you still doubt whether Divock Origi, big moments aside, is quite the required level to be starting a run of games if necessary.

Roberto Firmino is often thought of the toughest to replace but, although his skill set is unique, both Sadio Mane and Mo Salah have played well up front this season and the club have high hopes for Rhian Brewster, so it might be a more versatile forward that Liverpool decide to go for.

Timo Werner and Paulo Dybala have been rumoured targets for the longest time, but surely both would be seeking a more guaranteed starting place than Liverpool could offer.

Wilfred Zaha and Julian Brandt have also been linked recently, but it is Brandt’s Bayer Leverkusen teammate Leon Bailey who I really like. After a breakthrough season in 17/18, he has struggled a little more in the last 12 months. However, a change of management to the more attacking minded Peter Bosz saw a return to form for the Jamaican forward.

He’s skilful, powerful and very fast and I believe he would thrive under Jurgen Klopp. Apparently, he has turned down interest from Liverpool, and other top English clubs in the past, believing he wasn’t ready. Now might be the time…

Attacking Midfield

Liverpool worked hard on the Nabil Fekir signing last summer, only to see it break down due to him only having one knee.

Xherdan Shaqiri came in to do a similar job but was in and out of favour very quickly. The Reds do have Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Naby Keita, but there are injury concerns about them both.

If Liverpool are still trying to replace Phil Coutinho then there must be a temptation to just buy Phil Coutinho, especially as he is rumoured to be available for a cut-price deal.

Jurgen Klopp has shown interest in previous players before, showing he doesn’t hold a grudge, and he could act as a living reminder to the other lads that the grass isn’t always greener. Plus, he’s really good at footy.

Left Back

The summer marks the end of Alberto Moreno’s time at Liverpool, and while it is a sad time for us all, we must move on. Andy Robertson will take some shifting whoever comes in, so a younger player makes more sense at this stage.

Lloyd Kelly at Bristol City seems to tick all the boxes, especially as he can play centre half too, which allows him to cover two positions.

He is another who has been heavily linked and you can see why a Joe Gomez for the left-hand side would appeal to Jurgen Klopp. (Ed: Unlucky John, he’s only gone and gone to Bournemouth).

Centre Back

With several fringe players set to leave Liverpool, and the coffers further swollen by another run to the Champions League Final, it should be another summer where The Reds are able to shell out for top young talent.

With that in mind, I’d be looking to break the bank or at least a bank and get Matthijs de Ligt in.

Despite having the best defensive record in the country, for various reasons none of Van Djik’s partners have fully convinced this season from a long-term perspective at least, and the idea of an all-Dutch centre half partnership for years to come really appeals.

He must be tempted by this Liverpool project. Don’t go to Barcelona lad, we battered them!

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What do you think?