Jurgen Klopp has Liverpool back where they belong – fighting for top titles both at home and in Europe. Indeed, all is rosy at Anfield as the Reds look to finish the season in glorious fashion by pipping Man City to the Premier League title and overcoming Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League. Klopp has overseen Liverpool’s progression from outsiders to contenders, and with key signings in 2018 such as Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker taking the Reds to the next level. But it’s not just in the transfer market where the Reds have been doing some clever business. Liverpool handed new contracts to Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in 2018 while full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold followed suit earlier this year.
At a time when rivals Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are in transition, Liverpool are well positioned to be contenders for years. With that in mind, how could Liverpool’s squad look four years from now? GOALKEEPERS You don’t sign a goalkeeper for £65m, a world record fee at the time, without planning on for the long-term. And that’s exactly what Liverpool have done with Alisson. The Brazilian’s current deal expires in 2024 but expect him to be rewarded with a new one should he maintain the levels he has shown since arriving at Anfield. Alisson is just 26-years-old, so he will only enter his prime when he turns 30. As for competition, Liverpool will need a number two this summer, with Simon Mignolet likely to depart and Loris Karius at Besiktas. There are high hopes for Caoimhin Kelleher and Kamil Grabara. DEFENDERS Like with Alisson, Liverpool paid a world record fee when they signed Virgil van Dijk for £75m from Southampton, and at 27, it looks likely the Dutchman will be at the heart of Klopp’s defence for years to come. Van Dijk’s current deal runs until 2023. Alongside him, Liverpool have one of the most promising youngsters in world football in Joe Gomez. The 21-year-old recently signed a new, long-term deal at Anfield and, injuries permitting, should be Van Dijk’s long-term defensive partner. His deal runs until 2024. Gomez is a big reason why Liverpool won’t be in the hunt for the likes of Matthijs De Ligt this summer. Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip both face uncertain futures at Anfield, but Liverpool do have one of the most promising young central defenders in European football in Ki-Jana Hoever, a player who has already made his first-team debut at the age of 16 in January. At full-back, January saw both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson extend their contracts until 2024. Both men will be fixtures at Anfield for years to come. In reserve, Liverpool have some really promising young players at U23 and U18 level, the pick of the bunch being Adam Lewis. Yasser Larouci is also showing great promise having moved from left wing to left-back. MIDFIELDERS Summer signings Fabinho and Naby Keita were both brought in with a view to being long-term fixtures in Liverpool’s midfield and could be for years to come. Both have deals until 2023. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose current deal expires in 2022, is another who fits that model. Elsewhere, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum will both be 32 in four years and while you wouldn’t bet against either or both still being a part of the team, it’s fair to say both men will be past their prime. Adam Lallana will be 34, and while you might not bet against a 37-year-old James Milner still putting in a shift in midfield, it is very unlikely either will be at Liverpool. Marko Grujic has enjoyed an excellent season at Hertha Berlin and did sign a long-term deal at Anfield before departing, but the next transfer window could be crucial in deciding where his future is at. Curtis Jones remains Liverpool’s most outstanding young prospect in midfield, signing his first professional deal just over a year ago. That runs until 2020 but is likely to be extended further should the city centre-born youngster continue to progress. ATTACKERS As mentioned earlier, first choice trio Salah, Mane and Firmino all have deals lasting until 2023 and Liverpool will be keen to keep all three of their star men for as long as possible. Mane and Firmino will both be 31 by the time those contracts are set to expire, so Liverpool will likely have other players pushing for a place in the side. Divock Origi’s contract is up in 2020 and Daniel Sturridge will leave this summer, but the fit again Rhian Brewster signed a long-term deal just over a year ago and will be somebody the Reds will look to develop. Ditto Harry Wilson, who extended his contract until 2023 before enjoying an excellent spell on loan at Derby. And Ben Woodburn, whose current deal expires in 2021, should not be written off. Xherdan Shaqiri remains an intriguing one. He signed a deal until 2023 last summer but has not featured in recent months. Paul Glatzel and Bobby Duncan, who both signed professional terms at Anfield this past year, are big prospects and there are high hopes for 17-year-old Fidel O’Rourke.