Liverpool Fullbacks: Who Stays and Who Goes?

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How Liverpool Should Address the Fullback Group

After a dissection of the goalkeeping and central defenders currently residing at Anfield, now comes the opportunity to look at the fullbacks and the candidates for both inclusion and exclusion. The on and off ball characteristics of this 2023/24 season have been somewhat disruptive to the elite system of old, which is something that will be adjusted by the incoming Liverpool manager, Arne Slot. Though there is every possibility that a more defensive left back will be sought (one that releases Trent from an on ball back three), that is in no way a certainly. Based upon the form of this specific group, I would expect a fair shake up with at least one piece being added in the summer. Regarding Joe Gomez, my expectation is that he will be assured of his standing and I would have more fear in him being entrusted as the starting left back for the coming season.

Trent Alexander Arnold

Age – 25
Height – 5ft 9inch
Contract Expiry – 30th June 2025
Transfermarkt Value – €70m

The all-star academy graduate has been brilliant at times during the ongoing campaign; however, a more refined and wider role will be required next season. The 4-2 win against Spurs (last weekend) showed just how devastating he can be from his more natural position; therefore, I hope he too will realise the levels he can meet and accept the challenge. Sporadic periods of inversion will be maintained, though a less predictable pattern will be needed that can be catered for by a more resolute left sided player.

Verdict – Keep & extend.

Photo: @LFC on X

Conor Bradley

Age – 25
Height – 5ft 10inch
Contract Expiry – 30th June 2027
Transfermarkt Value – €15m

The newly established academy graduate was explosive after his introduction last season, which should see him fall comfortably into the role of Trent back up. With Champions League and domestic schedules likely to stretch Slot’s squad to its limits, there should be plenty of opportunities for the Northern Irish fullback to shine.

Verdict – Keep & groom for greater things.

Andy Robertson

Age – 30
Height – 5ft 8inch
Contract Expiry – 30th June 2025
Transfermarkt Value – €35m

The want to keep such a valuable servant may no longer fit into a post Jürgen Klopp world. My hope is that an extension can be negotiated that will maintain good value for a potential sale next summer, though if a more physical and defensive left sided fullback was desired, he may become the best representation of change.

Verdict – I hope he stays, though I fear he may be sold. At 30-years of age and after a steady period of regression, a lack of sentiment may be the only course to ensure continuous regeneration.

Kostas Tsimikas

Age – 27
Height – 5ft 9inch
Contract Expiry – 30th June 2025
Transfermarkt Value – €22m

The need to replace and refurbish the backups needs to become a priority from now on. Regarding the popular Greek, his sale is almost certain as a player in his prime that holds a good value and reputation.

Verdict – Let Michael Edwards do his thing and drive the price on a player not likely to become prominent under new leadership.

That above group must include Joe Gomez, who was Liverpool’s best left back last season. If a new centre back could be attained that allowed the Englishman to drift into a starting role on the left, this would be a much-required defensive upgrade. Ultimately, the need for a Levi Colwill type would be perfect and at that point, it may allow the system to plug the gaps that kept on opening last year. The right back situation is superb and only the structure and more importantly the instructions need to be refined and set out for the team to flourish. The names of Levi Colwill, Riccardo Calafiori, Gonçalo Inácio (and a few others), all represent a certain type to play outside of Virgil and this would be a positive development that would enhance resilience.

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