Liverpool head into the 2023/24 Premier League campaign looking to improve upon a fifth-placed finish which leaves Jurgen Klopp’s squad without the prize of Champions League football

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Jordan Henderson bids farewell to Anfield

This summer always promised to be a transformative one for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side.

After a period of relentless consistency and success, it was perhaps understandable that standards would eventually drop. And that fear certainly came to pass in 2022/23 as the Reds missed out on any silverware - and more importantly on a place in the Premier League ’s top four.

Liverpool instead had to settle for the Europa League and a realisation that changes would need to be seen. But even Klopp would have baulked at the amount of transition his side have faced in the weeks since their final game of last term.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino were all expected departures but Jordan Henderson was certainly not. He has taken the riches on offer in Saudi Arabia, leaving a hole in midfield and a need for a new captain at Anfield.

There have already been some new arrivals in the form of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, with more expected before they travel to Chelsea on August 13. Mirror Football looks at how Klopp would like to line up if everything goes to plan between now and then.

Goalkeeper - Alisson Becker

It’s now five years since Liverpool made the Brazilian the most expensive keeper of all time and that £65 million now looks more of a snip than ever. When his Liverpool team-mates were faltering last season, Alisson stood taller than ever and is a key reason why a fifth-placed finish was still achievable.

Defence - Alexander Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson.

While there promises to be plenty of changes further forward, Klopp’s back four should remain largely the same. Trent Alexander-Arnold thrived in the latter part of last season, adopting a hybrid role that also saw him slot into midfield - something which could be even more vital this time around.

Andy Robertson remains a consistent figure on the opposite flank and Virgil van Dijk appears certain to become the club’s new captain. His levels have dropped in recent months, but the added responsibility of the armband could get the Dutchman back to his unbeatable best.

FUERTH, GERMANY - JULY 24: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Captain Virgil Van Dijk and manager Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool before the pre-season friendly match between SpVgg Greuther Fürth and Liverpool at on July 24, 2023 in Fuerth, Germany. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images) Virgil van Dijk is set to replace Jordan Henderson as Liverpool’s new captain

The other centre-back berth remains more of a debate, with strong links to Chelsea defender Levi Colwill throughout the summer. However, injury issues with the Blues means it is more likely he will be in the home side’s starting XI on the opening day of the Premier League season.

Liverpool may look to invest in a young central defender who has time to develop away from regular football, the same patience which has been afforded to Ibrahima Konate. In glimpses the France international has shown his qualities and there are hopes this could prove to be a genuine breakthrough season for the 24-year-old.

Midfield - Mac Allister, Lavia, Szoboszlai.

What a difference two months can make. When Liverpool ended their Premier League season with a farcical 4-4 draw at Southampton; Curtis Jones, Fabinho and Milner made up their midfield three.

And while Fabinho is still at the club at present, it is unlikely he will be available for long with his move to Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia on the verge of completion. Henderson is joining him in the Gulf State, with Milner now at Brighton.

Mac Allister and Szoboszlai will be tasked with providing the attacking impetus from the middle of the park and ensuring Liverpool’s midfield contributes more than the paltry 10 goals offered in 22/23.

Liverpool have already had one bid rejected for Southampton's Romeo Lavia Liverpool have already had one bid rejected for Southampton’s Romeo Lavia (


Getty Images)

Romeo Lavia will be the pivot at the base of the midfield…if Klopp gets his way. The Southampton star is his top target, after shining in his maiden Premier League season. The Belgian could cost close to £50m, but there is hope a deal can be wrapped up quickly - so quickly that he can join their pre-season tour of Singapore.

At 19, there are concerns about his ability to do the work the veteran Fabinho used to, but Alexander-Arnold dropping in alongside him should help with that somewhat.

Forwards - Diaz, Gakpo, Salah.

While the midfield will be filled with new signings, Klopp already has plenty of options at his disposal for the forward line. Mohamed Salah remains the club’s focal point, talisman and most important player. In what was seen as ‘down year’ for the Egyptian, he scored 30 times…not bad.

How Liverpool could line up against Chelsea on the opening day How Liverpool could line up against Chelsea on the opening day

Then there are any two from four for the final couple of positions. Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota have both looked sharp in pre-season, but for this purpose of this exercise, start on the bench.

Cody Gakpo showed signs he could fill the role left vacant by Firmino and will only continue to improve with a full summer working with Klopp. On the left, Luis Diaz is given the nod. His injury absence was sorely felt last year and if he can stay fit, there is hope the Sadio Mane gap can be well and truly filled.

_Liverpool’s ideal XI vs Chelsea (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Lavia, Szoboszlai; Salah, Gakpo, Diaz. _