Liverpool fans may have endured a frustrating end to last season, and may have been worried that their transfer policy would scupper any possibility of a promising year this time around, but it now appears that things are looking brighter on Merseyside following their first marquee signing of the summer.
BBC Sport report that Roberto Firmino has now officially agreed to follow James Milner, Danny Ings, Adam Bogdan, and Joe Gomez through the Anfield door. And it appears that Brendan Rodgers is unlikely to stop with the five he has already got.
With that in mind, here is the Reds’ potential XI for next season:
GK- Simon Mignolet
Despite a sloppy start to the last campaign that saw him dropped for Brad Jones, the Belgian really began to progress as the season went on. He was in contention for the Golden Glove going into the latter stages of the year. Now he is competing with a better back-up option in Adam Bogdan, he will know that he cannot let his standards slip again, as Brendan Rodgers will have no problem giving the former Bolton man a chance.
RB- Nathaniel Clyne
With the loss of Glen Johnson, as well the prolonged injury problems of Jon Flanagan, signing a right-back has to be one of Rodgers’ main priorities. Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne seems to be the main target, with the Metro reporting that the Reds will pay the £15m that Ronald Koeman wants for the England international. The 24-year-old is quite similar to Johnson, as he is not afraid to get forward and offer support down the line, and he possesses a stunning strike as he proved at the Emirates in the Capital One Cup. However, he is arguably stronger in defence than the veteran he replaces.
CB- Martin Skrtel
The Slovakian stalwart has reportedly agreed to sign a new deal (via Sky Sports), which is certainly an encouraging signing for the club. While he has not been at his best in the past couple of years, he undoubtedly has the experience to help the club recover from a difficult season. To get the best of him, it is likely that Rodgers will need to provide him with a regular partner, which was largely out of his control last year, as injuries often forced the Northern Irishman’s hand.
CB- Mamadou Sakho
Although he made a slow start to his Anfield career, the 25-year-old has established himself as the Reds’ best defender. He missed much of the last couple of months of last season, and only returned for the Stoke hammering. If he can stay injury-free, Reds fans will be hoping that he can form a solid understanding with Skrtel at the heart of their defence.
LB- Alberto Moreno
The Spaniard showed some real glimpses of quality last season, not least his stunning goal against Tottenham in August. However, he was criticised for shirking his defensive responsibilities which led to plenty of problems for his teammates. With a defensively-sound three alongside him, you would imagine that Moreno will have the freedom to get forward and offer support in midfield.