Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, resisted the temptation to spend endless amounts of money in the recent transfer window. Although Liverpool spent almost £70m on the likes of Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum, the Reds were able to recoup their transfer spending by offloading a number of fringe players.
Klopp prefers to nurture players and strongly believes in training rather than spending big money on ready-made recruits from other clubs. The German manager is set for a long stay at Anfield to completely develop his squad and challenge for honours.
Using Football Manager 16, we simulated until the end of the summer transfer window in 2021 to see how Liverpool could line up in five years’ time…
Goalkeeper – Bingourou Kamara
Liverpool added Loris Karius to their squad this summer in order to challenge Simon Mignolet for the number one jersey on Merseyside. However, FM predicts that Karius will not do enough to convince Klopp of his abilities and was sold to Celta Vigo two years later. Mignolet took the gloves again before Liverpool completed a £14m deal for Bingourou Kamara from Monaco. The French goalkeeper is just 19-years-old and currently plays for Tours in the second tier of French football.
Right-Back – Emre Can
Former Bayern Munich midfielder, Emre Can, has played in numerous roles during his time at Anfield, being used as a centre-back under Brendan Rodgers before being moved back to midfield under Klopp. However, FM predicts that Nathaniel Clyne will move to Tottenham leaving a void at right-back. The former Borussia Dortmund manager opted to convert Can to a right-back position and name him as the club’s vice-captain.
Centre-Back – Joel Matip
Joel Matip arrived on a free transfer this summer and FM predicts that the Cameroonian international will remain a key player for the Reds over the next few years. Matip looked impressive in his league debut against Tottenham and is an extremely experienced defender after racking up over 100 appearances in the Bundesliga with Schalke.
Centre-Back – Mamadou Sakho
Former PSG captain, Mamadou Sakho, has endured a torrid few months at Liverpool. After being wrongly accused of doping, which meant he missed two cup finals, Sakho has now fallen out of favour under Klopp and rejected multiple loan moves away this summer to fight for his place. According to FM, Sakho will earn his place back in the side and become a key player yet again. The Frenchman formed a formidable partnership with Matip in the heart of defence.
Left-Back – Alberto Moreno
Many fans questioned Liverpool’s decision not to buy a left-back this summer after becoming disillusioned with the performances of Alberto Moreno. Klopp has chosen to keep faith with the Spaniard and indicated he will use James Milner at the back if necessary. Moreno was able to repay his manager’s faith with some assured performances. Moreno was also able to improve his final ball and drastically increase his assist tally over the season.
Centre Midfield – Jordan Henderson
Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson, has received his fair share of criticism this season as the former Sunderland man has struggled to influence games from a defensive midfield position. Henderson has been unable to rediscover his form from the 13/14 season due to a series of reoccurring injuries. FM predict that Klopp will keep the faith in his skipper who will get back to his best over the next few years.
Centre Midfield – Robin Quaison
FM believe that Henderson’s midfield partner in 2021 will be Palermo midfielder, Robin Quaison. After a spell on loan with A.I.K in Sweden, Quaison returned to the team and quickly established himself as an important first-team regular. Stoke, Leeds and QPR were linked with a move for the Swedish international who is regarded as a hot prospect for the future in Italy. However, FM suggests it will be Liverpool who wins the Swede’s signature for £34m in 2018.
Attacking Midfield – Nathan Redmond
Liverpool continued their trend of buying Southampton players this summer as Mane followed the likes of Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana in swapping St. Marys for Anfield. However, FM believes that after one year on Merseyside, Real Madrid will capture his signature for almost £45m. They also suggest that Liverpool will replace him with yet another Southampton winger in Nathan Redmond. The former Norwich winger has looked a decent signing already for the Saints and could earn a £40m move to Merseyside in 2019 with Champions League football the key in persuading him to move up North.
Attacking Midfield – Roberto Firmino
One current Liverpool player to maintain his position in starting XI is Roberto Firmino who went from strength-to-strength following his debut season in England. Questions marks were raised about the £30m it took to bring him from Hoffenheim but Firmino finished as one of Liverpool’s top scorers last season. FM believe he will remain a crucial player for the next five years and will manage to score more than ten goals in every season. Despite interest from Barcelona, Firmino also committed his future to Liverpool in 2018 by signing a new five-year-deal.
Attacking Midfield – Philippe Coutinho
Football Manager also expects Firmino’s Brazilian team-mate, Philippe Coutinho, to remain at Anfield for the next five years. Coutinho is improving every year and has quickly emerged as Liverpool’s most important player following the departures of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez. His performances will continue to improve and see him shortlisted for the World Golden Ball in 2018 and 2020. Coutinho was also awarded Liverpool’s player of the year award in every season of the simulation highlighting his value to the side.
Striker – Saido Berahino
FM suggest Klopp will lose faith in Liverpool’s strikers to consistently find the back of the net as Divock Origi was sold to Wolfsburg after just one season and Daniel Sturridge also found himself transfer-listed before agreeing on a move to China. The man Klopp chose to replace them was West Brom’s Saido Berahino. The English forward penned a five-year-deal to finalise the £30m transfer in 2017. Under Klopp’s tutelage, Berahino fulfilled his potential and became one of the league’s most potent finishers; lifting the golden boot award in 2019 and 2020. His performances also earned him a call-up to the senior England team where he netted on his international debut for the Three Lions.
Who do you think will play for Liverpool in 2021? Comment below!