The Liverpool team if they could only buy & pick Merseysiders

0
30

Liverpool will be painted in red on the day Jurgen Klopp lifts his arm to touch the famous ‘This Is Anfield’ sign in Liverpool’s home ground for one final time.

The sun is westering on Merseyside as the lionised German’s tenure draws to a close, and with the Carabao Cup bagged this season and silverware very much grabbable in the Premier League and Europa League, a deafening conclusion is on the cards.

Self-branded ‘heavy metal’ football, devastating counter-transitions, mentality monsters, rich emergence of youth. This is Klopp’s legacy. The nuts and bolts of the 56-year-old’s success in Liverpool lie with the astute transfer activity over the past eight years or so, with shrewd deals and pinpoint bids shaping a team bitterly admired by rivals near and far.

Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez.

Mohamed Salah: signed from Roma for £34m. Virgil van Dijk? Arrived from Southampton for £75m – that one hit the mark. Andy Robertson, you say? He joined from Hull City for just £10m, since becoming one of the finest full-backs in Europe.

Imagine if Liverpool employed a strategy that precluded this, implementing the transfer policy that has been in place at Athletic Bilbao over in Spain since 1912, only signing players originating from Basque Country or having developed their formative skills at a Basque club.

With Klopp leaving in the summer, the frontrunner to succeed the legendary gaffer Xabi Alonso could craft an interesting team from city-grown stars, with the Spaniard working wonders at Bayer Leverkusen and fiercely pursued.

Michael Edwards has returned as FSG’s new CEO of football, while Richard Hughes has been appointed as Liverpool’s new sporting director, and in this hypothetical scenario, the duo would have their work cut out to make things work, signing exclusively from Merseyside.

But would such a team succeed in the Premier League?

1
GK – Harvey Davies

Born: Liverpool

Liverpool goalkeeper Harvey Davies

Goalkeeper is a tough one, with Caoimhin Kelleher on Liverpool’s books since he was 16 years old, arriving from Irish outfit Ringmahon Rangers.

He’s not scouse though, and so Harvey Davies would earn his place between the sticks, with the 20-year-old Reds shot-stopper currently out on loan with Crewe Alexandra in League Two, saving 69% of his shots faced.

2
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold

Born: West Derby

Trent Alexander-Arnold warming up for Liverpool.

Who to stick at right-back was a tough one, but we suppose Trent Alexander-Arnold will do. Klopp’s vice-captain has gone from strength to strength since graduating from Liverpool’s academy and is now one of Europe’s most influential stars, described as a “genius” for his ball-playing ability by reporter Neil Jones.

3
CB – Jarell Quansah

Born: Warrington

Liverpool defender Jarell Quansah.

New on the block but cultured and possessed by a swagger that belies his years, Jarell Quansah is Merseyside’s standout centre-back right now (born between the Manchester/Mersey divide), with his future at Liverpool tipped to be laden with success.

Remarked to be “excelling” this season in a “master/apprentice” partnership with indomitable captain Virgil van Dijk by The Athletic’s James Pearce, this kid is the real deal – and even better, he’s one of our own.

4
CB – Conor Coady

Born: St Helens

Conor Coady for Liverpool

The first player not actually in Liverpool’s real squad goes to Conor Coady, though he did graduate from the academy way back when and made a grand total of two appearances before being purchased by Huddersfield Town back in 2014 for £500,000.

Slim pickings really, barring Quansah, though Coady is now a veteran of the English game and has played 176 games in the Premier League,

5
LB – Martin Kelly

Born: Whiston

Martin Kelly for Liverpool

In this distorted version of footballing life, Liverpool would have had to make use of Martin Kelly’s talents at left-back for far longer than was actually the case, with the West Bromwich Albion defender joining Liverpool aged seven and playing 62 times for the Merseyside club before moving away.

He’s naturally a right-sided player but is competent across the back four and would be a valuable asset for a Liverpool team constrained by local signing restrictions.

6
DM – Tyler Morton

Born: Wallasey

Tyler Morton for Hull City

A rising star who could yet find a place in Liverpool’s senior side, Tyler Morton currently plies his trade out on loan with promotion-chasing Hull City, but in this parallel world, he’d have been placed in the midfield anchor under Alonso.

Described as an “incredible talent” by media man Matthew Stanger, Morton is an underrated player, completing 89% of his passes for the Tigers and averaging 1.3 key passes and 4.7 ball recoveries per fixture.

7
CM – Tom Davies

Born: Liverpool

Everton's Tom Davies

Ah, perhaps the first real point of contention, here. Fair enough, Tom Davies is actually a product of Everton’s academy. Yes, he’s struggled to cement a spot at Goodison Park over the past few years and now plays for imperilled Sheffield United, starting just two top-flight matches this term.

But there’s not much to choose from here and Liverpool would have sought him out as one of Merseyside’s brightest midfield talents and guided him to prominence at Liverpool. Maybe he might have realised some of that potential woven into his natural skill set.

8
CM – Ross Barkley

Born: Wavertree

Luton midfielder Ross Barkley

Another Everton man, but this one does make more sense. Ross Barkley is a very good player but he has struggled against injuries most of his career and saw his huge potential derailed after completing a £15m move from Goodison to Chelsea back in 2018.

He’s returned to England this term with newly-promoted Luton Town after a stint in France and has proved himself one of the standout summer signings, said to be “not far off player of the season” by Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson.

As per Sofascore, the 30-year-old Merseysider has posted four goals and three assists from 24 Premier League matches in the current campaign, completing 84% of his passes and averaging 1.7 key passes, 1.5 tackles, 6.4 ball recoveries, 2.3 dribbles and 6.8 successful duels per match.

9
RW – Anthony Gordon

Born: Liverpool

Anthony Gordon.

Anthony Gordon is scouse through and through, though both sides of the Merseyside pond seem to loathe the electric winger. For Everton, he fled during a time of great need, completing a £45m transfer to Newcastle United in January 2023; for Liverpool, Gordon is the enemy, though he actually spent some time at the Liverpool youth academy during his teenage years.

Anthony Gordon: Premier League Stats 23/24

Stat

#

Matches played

27

Goals

9

Assists

5

Pass completion

83%

Big chances created

10

Key passes per game

1.1

Ball recoveries per game

3.5

Dribbles per game

1.3

Tackles per game

1.5

Duels won per game

5.0

Stats via Sofascore

For this reason, Liverpool would have nurtured his qualities in this reality and guided him through the layers toward the senior set-up, where he would be thriving on the wing and wreaking havoc in his native city.

10
LW – Curtis Jones

Born: Liverpool, raised in Toxteth

Liverpool player Curtis Jones.

A true Liverpudlian, a proper denizen. Curtis Jones‘ importance at Liverpool would have been swelled and then some here, featuring prominently in the Liverpool-born XI.

A central midfielder, Jones is more than capable out on the left wing and that is where he would ply his trade for this team, dazzling with elite control and savvy match intelligence.

As per FBref, the 23-year-old ranks among the top 14% of positional peers for goals, the top 17% for assists, the top 5% for pass completion, the top 8% for progressive carries and the top 12% for successful take-ons per 90 – need more be said?

11
CF – Jayden Danns

Born: Liverpool

Jayden Danns scores for Liverpool.

Placed at the spearhead of this homegrown squad of scousers, fast-emerging Jayden Danns would find himself given the keys as Liverpool’s first-choice talisman, and he hasn’t exactly let his boyhood team in reality.

The potentiality of great success has sent supporters into a frenzy; that first finish against Southampton was so cool, so deft, and now we wait and hope that he lives up to the hype and blossoms into a goalscoring machine.

Scouse-only Liverpool line-up in full: (GK) Harvey Davies; (RB) Trent Alexander-Arnold; (CB) Jarell Quansah, (CB) Conor Coady, (LB) Brad Smith; (DM) Tyler Morton, (CM) Ross Barkley, (CM) Tom Davies; (RW) Anthony Gordon, (LW) Curtis Jones, (CF) Jayden Danns.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here