Liverpool’s Domestic Double: If Key Rotation Players Leave, Will They Prioritise Other Competitions Next Year?
Liverpool has just proven that their strategy is working. The Reds only this week hoisted the FA Cup trophy in a game against Chelsea that had to come down to penalties after a nail-biting game with no goals. That’s after winning the League Cup in February too.
The team’s domestic double strategy is clearly paying off. They can already say they’ve gained the FA Cup, and there is a good chance they could win the Premier League too. From there, there’s the Champions League to gain too.
It makes for an amazing season. Fans are on the edge of their seats to see if they can pull it off, and when you look at the rotation strategy that Liverpool is employing, the hope is there, and it’s growing. Fans will be keeping an eye of LFC ticket prices on https://seatpick.com/liverpool-tickets for next season, hoping they can do it all again..
So, what is this magical strategy that’s winning all the trophies? And could it possibly be disrupted? We’re looking into it here.
Liverpool’s winning strategy
In the past, Liverpool made a habit of somewhat knocking themselves out of other competitions early to make sure they were keeping their attention on the Premier League and the Champions League. Competitions like the FA Cup and the League Cup were left by the wayside so that the team’s most valuable players could put their all into the Premier League and the Champions League.
However, with an injection of cash and smarter financial decisions when it comes to players, Liverpool have grown into a team that is almost all most valuable players. That, combined with a training regime that puts emphasis on improving player’s value, has meant that manager Jurgen Klopp can swap out MVP for equally useful MVP. From game to game, Liverpool rotate their players so that they give their best performance whether it’s for the FA Cup or the Champions League.
But it’s possible that some key players can throw a wrench into the works.
Both Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, both considered some of the best strikers in the Premier League this year, are talking about leaving Liverpool.
Salah, in particular, has been talking about it a lot. His contract is up this year, and there has been a lot of back and forth between Liverpool and Salah on what his salary should be. However, Salah’s constant rejection of salaries has fans wondering if he’s stalling for time, or a better offer from another team.
Meanwhile, Sadio Mane is also in talks to be leaving The Reds. The Senegalese winger was a key player in the Senegal national team, which won this year’s African Cup of Nations, sending Senegal to the World Cup in Qatar.
It’s the lack of talking that is interesting here, as the end of Mane’s contract keeps approaching with no discussions about extending it, leaving Mane a free agent at the end of the 2023 season.
This could ruin Liverpool’s strategy of rotating players. If they do lose two of the best goal scorers in the Premier League, they better replace them with players who are equally as good to keep their winning strategy.
It’s also likely that key rotational figures like Origi, Minamino, and Oxlade-Chamberlain will leave. These players performed essential roles in the pursuit of domestic competitions, with Origi and Minamino taking centre stage, scoring vital goals. The loss of these players means that there is a lack of senior or peak-aged players to come in a keep the minimum level in the squad high during these games. As such, for domestic cups next season – which have resulted in two trophies this season – it’s likely that Liverpool will play those in the academy, rather than senior pros.
Who’s Coming In?
Of course, those that leave make room for some to come in. It is unlikely, though, that Liverpool replace Origi and those rotation options with other experienced rotation options. That isn’t how Liverpool operate. The Reds will likely target pre-peak players, as they usually do – only breaking this mould to sign high-profile, win-now players like Alisson, Van Dijk, and Thiago.
Tchouameni is a name regularly linked with a move to Anfield. His profile is one that fits how Liverpool go about their business: good ability with high potential, pre-peak age, and from a league and club that wouldn’t ask for astronomical transfer fees. He’s a destructive and leggy presence in the midfield who is an able dribbler and shows promise as a passer. However, Tchouameni is a popular target. Many major clubs across Europe would like to see him reinforce their existing midfield options and become a stalwart for years to come. Real Madrid, according to reports, are favourites for his signature, ahead of Liverpool.
Bellingham is another player Liverpool are rumoured to be taking very seriously. Again, he’s a midfield option, an area of the team Liverpool appear to be well-stocked – though, Jones and Elliot are similar profiles to one another, and Bellingham and Tchouameni offer more defensive assurances. Oxlade Chamberlain, as things stand, is seemingly the only player who vacate a midfield in the squad this summer. As such, Liverpool may well be looking to replace a starter, especially with Thiago and Henderson reaching the latter stages of their careers.
Next season, Liverpool have to play in the shadow of their accomplishments in the 2021/2022 season. Playing in every single possible game, in every single possible final, is a feat no other team else can assign their name to. The standard they have played at is unheard of, historical. While they didn’t win the quadruple, they are the team to go closest. They aren’t, though, Nearly Men in a derogatory sense. Of course, success is measured in trophies. It’s possibly easier for Liverpool to revitalise their ambitions and passions for next season having not won the Premier League. And, with the squad undergoing changes, it’s likely the domestic cups are relegated to a status of ‘unnecessary games’, and that Klopp will not risk his players as he’d rather pursue the Premier League and Champions League.