With the longest football season now complete, teams will begin to prepare for 2020/21. None more so than Liverpool who, having won the Premier League, will set out to defend their crown, as well as perhaps create prolonged runs in cup competitions, both domestic and European.
Jürgen Klopp is not expected to spend big in the summer transfer window, as it is not the FSG model without the sale of players for large fees. The possibility of minor changes remain at Anfield, replacing outgoing squad members such as the already departed Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana with new arrivals. These may be the only incoming transfers, as well as those Thiago Alcantara rumours that show no sign of subsiding.
So who in the current squad, outside of the usual suspects, could have a big impact on Liverpool’s ambitions next season?
The Liverpool Players That Could Make an Impact Next Season
The Guinean midfielder has rather flattered to deceive since arriving on Merseyside in 2018 from RB Leipzig. His time has been marred by regular injuries, not allowing him to get the run of matches he desires to adapt to a new league.
After completing the signing a year before his arrival, Keita finally joined the club with plaudits aplenty and bags of ability. Reds fans were rightly optimistic about seeing their new man in the flesh, however, it’s fair to say he has enjoyed an indifferent start to life with the Premier League champions.
His form of late has been the best he has shown during his Liverpool career; form he will hope to maintain and progress on next season. In what will be his third full season with the club, he should be fully adapted and ready to play an integral part in Klopp’s plans. Next season could be the making of Naby Keïta as Liverpool player.
Takumi Minamino is another who’s experienced a fractured role in the Reds squad since his arrival, albeit a shorter spell with the club. The Japan international arrived in January from RB Salzburg after scoring in the Champions League group stages against Liverpool weeks earlier.
Undoubtedly a player with plenty to offer the Liverpool squad, Minamino has been used across the front three as a backup since his arrival. His preferred position of false nine is occupied by arguably the best in the business at the role in Roberto Firmino. The German manager is often resistant to rotate the front-three for fear of disrupting performances, to succeed across all competitions Klopp will need the likes of Minamino to step up to the plate.
Next season could be critical for the 25-year-old and he will hope to make the most of any chances he gets.
Nineteen-year-old local lad Curtis Jones has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence in the last six months. Captaining the Reds Under-23 side in the Premier League 2, scoring 14 goals from midfield in the 2019/20 season at that level. Jones scored his first goal for the senior side memorable fashion, a stunning strike to settle an FA Cup third round Merseyside Derby at Anfield in January.
Following the departure of Lallana to Brighton, Jones, a technically gifted player with an eye for goal, may foresee himself getting more opportunities next term. He finished the Premier League season with six appearances and one goal, at home to Aston Villa. Klopp, who is renowned for giving youngsters their opportunity, may utilise Jones in 2020/21.
Having been with the club since 2014, the hype around Rhian Brewster’s ability has been long-standing. A prolific goalscorer at every youth level for the Reds, his senior appearances for the club until now have been limited to three cup outings. Currently on loan at Swansea City, where he has fired the South Wales club to the Championship play-offs, his ten goals since arriving in January have been instrumental.
Also with 20 goals in his 23 England U17 caps, the pacey striker truly has scored goals at all levels he’s so far – could he continue the trend in at the top tier?
Should the 20-year-old help Swansea back to the Premier League, there will be a host of clubs, including the Swans, hoping to obtain the striker on loan for the duration of next season. However, plenty of Reds fans, and perhaps Klopp himself, may see Brewster as best served staying with the Premier League champions and perhaps making a big impact.