Three Questions Raised by Liverpool’s Europa Group Success

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Liverpool’s Successful European Campaign: Key Takeaways and Future Prospects

Following Liverpool’s 4-0 victory over LASK at Anfield last night, the Reds secured top spot in Group E and qualification for the Round of 16.

There’s been a number of key talking points along the way, with many raising a number of questions on the depth of the squad, future transfer plans and the true potential of the side.

Today we’re going to be taking a look at three key questions that have been raised as a consequence of Liverpool’s fine European form.

Is Liverpool’s Defensive Depth as Bad as Some Claim?

The Europa League group stage has proved to be a crucial provider of minutes throughout the Liverpool squad, but perhaps more so in the defensive positions.

With the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Alisson Becker rarely featuring, others have been given a chance to prove themselves.

One player who has most certainly proved himself has been 20-year-old Jarrell Quansah, who has struck a fantastic partnership with Ibou Konate.

Quansah has been an ever-present throughout the group stage and has arguably been the Reds’ standout performer.

The youngster’s fantastic performances has made him an established member of the first-team squad to many supporters.

The Europa League has also helped the likes of Joe Gomez and Kostas Tsimikas put together a consistent run of games and have both largely impressed.

This combined with the fantastic domestic form of Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold leaves Jurgen Klopp with two reliable full-backs on each side and five solid options at the heart of the defence.

However, Liverpool still appear to be heavily active in their search for defensive reinforcements in the transfer market with Joel Matip expected to leave the club in the summer.

But until then, I certainly feel a lot more confident in Liverpool’s defensive ranks than I did at the start of the season.

What Should Liverpool’s Transfer Plans Be?

In my opinion, Liverpool should still be prioritising a defensive midfielder over any defender in the upcoming January transfer window.

However, that isn’t a slight on Wataru Endo. In fact, I think the Japanese midfielder has been a standout performer during the Reds’ European campaign so far.

The main reason behind the signing of a defensive midfielder would be to relieve some of the pressure that has been constantly on Alexis Mac Allister since his arrival in the summer.

Fitness issues surrounding both Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic are proving to be a real never-ending issue for Klopp.

Whilst Thiago looks nailed on to leave the club permanently in the summer, it wouldn’t surprise me if Stefan Bajcetc secured a loan move to receive crucial minutes before coming back into the first-team to take Endo’s place in the squad.

In terms of incomings, Kephren Thuram and Andre Trindade are the two names most heavily linked with a move to Anfield and I think both could be fantastic signings.

Although a left-footed defender like Goncalo Inacio and a natural long-term Mo Salah replacement should also be near the top of Liverpool’s priorities, a defensive midfielder could be the difference in getting over the line at the end of the season.

Can Liverpool Battle on All Four Fronts?

With Jurgen Klopp’s side remaining in all four competitions, some have started to question whether the Reds could challenge for all four trophies this season.

The answer is of course they have the quality to do so, as proven by their fantastic start to the season despite facing very tricky opposition.

However, it’s certainly debatable whether Liverpool have the squad depth that especially Manchester City has.

If the majority of players can remain fit throughout the season, backed up with one or two signings in January, then I do think Liverpool will go far in all four competitions.

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