Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League and finished second in the league with 97 points in 2018/19 and it was a team effort from Jurgen Klopp’s men. Next season, the Reds will compete in seven competitions and it will be an opportunity for a few players to have an even bigger impact.
#5. Rhian Brewster
Two players from England’s FIFA U-17 World Cup squad of 2017, Jadon Sancho and Callum Hudson-Odoi, have already made their debut for the England senior team and the next one in line could be the tournament’s Golden Boot winner Rhian Brewster.
Brewster is yet to make his professional debut despite making the substitutes bench a few times under Jurgen Klopp. The Liverpool manager rates the 19-year-old highly and convinced him to stay at the club in the summer of 2018 when Bundesliga clubs attempted to sign him.
Brewster has performed well for the Liverpool U-23 side since he was a 16-year-old and it was only a long-term injury that stopped him from breaking into the first team this season. Next season, he will have a big part to play and the departure of Daniel Sturridge opens up a position for him.
#4. Divock Origi
Before the 2018/19 season started, Liverpool wanted to sell Divock Origi after a poor spell on loan at Wolfsburg. However, the player turned down multiple offers in favour of staying at Liverpool and in hindsight, it was a fantastic decision.
Origi only played 11 minutes for Liverpool before making his first Premier League appearance of the season on 2nd December against Everton and he scored the only goal of the game. That goal helped him work his way into Klopp’s plans and Origi repaid his manager’s faith in him by scoring crucial goals in the semifinal and final of the Champions League.
The Belgian is expected to sign a new contract in the summer and he will have a bigger role to play next season with Liverpool playing in seven competitions. The 24-year-old averages a goal or assist every 122 minutes for the Reds and that’s fantastic for a player who is often used as an impact substitute.
#3. Joe Gomez
Many Liverpool fans want the club to sign Matthijs de Ligt this summer as a partner for Virgil van Dijk but that shouldn’t happen as it will most likely hamper the progress of the brilliant Joe Gomez.
Gomez started the 2018/19 season as Van Dijk’s first-choice centre-back partner and sometimes he played as a right-back when Klopp needed extra defensive stability. He played the full 90 minutes in 11 Premier League games before picking up a long-term injury against Burnley in December and in those 11 games, Liverpool conceded only four goals!
The England international is an athletic defender with excellent composure and passing abilities. In many ways, he resembles Van Dijk and Gomez will only get better as he’s still only 22-years-old.
Joel Matip stepped up and formed a formidable partnership with Van Dijk when Gomez was out injured and next season, Klopp will have a tough time choosing his centre-back pair.
#2. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
In 2017/18, Liverpool beat Manchester City thrice in all competitions and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played a key role in those victories including scoring two sensational goals from outside the box. This season, Liverpool’s defeat to Man City which ultimately cost them the league title highlighted how important he is to the side.
The former Arsenal man took some time to settle down at Liverpool but he became a key figure in his side’s run to the Champions League final in 2018. His incisive passing, driving runs from midfield and pace on the counter-attack helped make the Reds a bigger attacking threat.
This season, the Liverpool midfield was bereft of the qualities Oxlade-Chamberlain brought to the table but he has returned successfully from his injury and will be rearing to go. He had 5 goals and 8 assists from midfield in his debut season and that’s the kind of impact from midfield Liverpool need to challenge Manchester City.
#1. Naby Keita
Liverpool wanted to sign Naby Keita in the summer of 2017 but since RB Leipzig refused to sell the player, the Reds struck a deal with the club to bring the midfielder to Anfield in the summer of 2018 by paying a premium on top of his release clause that was set to be active at the end of the 2017/18 season.
Many Liverpool fans kept a close eye on Keita in his final season for Leipzig and were thoroughly impressed by his dynamism. Upon joining Liverpool, the Guinean impressed in preseason and started the first three league games of the season. However, a series of injuries and a language barrier derailed his attempts to settle into life in England.
Towards the end of the season, the 24-year-old earned a recall into the starting XI and scored three goals in five games before injury ended his season prematurely. Next season, he will be eager to make a bigger contribution as Liverpool attempt to win more trophies.