2022 Liverpool FC Squad Assessment, Contract Situation: Defenders

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What a season the 2021/22 season turned out to be for Liverpool FC. Two trophies, a Champions League final, and 92 points in the league are a tremendous return for the club. Jurgen Klopp and his squad will have every right to feel a little disappointed as the two most significant trophies eluded them by the smallest margin.

After a parade through Merseyside to celebrate their season with their fans, the players will head off on a well-deserved break. Meanwhile, the staff will begin the hard work of list management.

2022 Liverpool FC Squad Assessment, Contract Situation:

Goalkeepers    Defenders     Attack     Midfielders

Deciding on who will stay and who will go. Some decisions will be easy, some will be tricky, and some will be downright hard.

virgil van dijk

I am going to go through the Liverpool first team and make my own decisions about the squad. I’ll give my two cents worth, and you can let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree. 

Next up we will go through the defenders.

DEFENDERS

Virgil van Dijk (51 Appearances, 3 Goals 5 Assists) Contract Expiry: 30/6/25

The Dutchman is one of the best, if not the best, central defenders on the planet at this moment. There were some murmurings about whether he would return to his best after suffering an ACL injury early in the 20/21 season. After that 12-month lay-off, the 30-year-old barely skipped a beat.

He marshaled a Liverpool squad that conceded just 26 goals in the league last season. A world-class performer at the peak of his powers, Van Dijk is nailed on to be a big part of the squad going forward.

Ibrahima Konate (29/3/1) Contract Expiry 30/6/26

Ibrahima Konate is an exciting young talent. He is positioned slightly ahead of Joel Matip at this point in terms of the preferred partner for Virgil van Dijk. Strong on the ball and quicker than you might imagine, the Frenchman is the future of the Liverpool defense.

He was the best player in red in the Champions League final. The only place this guy is heading is straight to the top.

Joe Gomez (21/0/1) Contract Expiry 30/6/24

It was a tricky season for Joe Gomez. Returning from injury, the young England center back would have hoped to have nailed down a regular spot by the end of the season. Unfortunately for him, because of the form of Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate, that did not happen.

Gomez was restricted to just 21 appearances across all competitions. Less than half of those were starts. With the defense as heavily stacked as it is, it might make sense for Joe to look for a new club. Whether Jurgen Klopp will let such a brilliant defender leave is a completely different story.

Joel Matip (43/3/3) Contract Expiry 30/6/24

With all the hype and questions surrounding Virgil van Dijk and his return from injury, Joël Matip’s return from his own personal injury hell went under the radar. A lot of the narrative surrounding the Cameroonian was that he would be a bit-part player this season. That he was too injury prone to rely on.

The big man shut all of those naysayers up with a stunning campaign that saw him in some people’s Premier League teams of the season.

The thirty-year-old still has plenty to offer the club. He is more than capable of being a first-choice option, but will more likely be a handy third-choice center-back heading into next season.

Rhys Williams 2 (0/0) Contract Expiry 30/6/26

One hero of the 2020/21 season, Rhys Williams spent the first half of the 21/22 season on loan at Championship club Swansea. Somewhat disappointingly, he only made five appearances and was back at Liverpool by January.

He made no appearances for the first team squad and was featured on the bench just twice.

At 21 years old, he needs a move to stop his career grinding to a halt, preferably a permanent one.

Trent Alexander Arnold 47 (2/19) Contract Expiry 30/6/25

Legend at just 23. Local lad. Playmaker. Redefining the fullback position. He is going nowhere. Future captain of his hometown club.

Andrew Robertson 47 (3/15) Contract Expiry: 30/6/26

Legend. Another redefining the fullback position. He cost Liverpool just €7 million from Hull in 2017. He is currently worth €65 million according to transfermarkt. That says more than I could. At the peak of his powers.

He is going nowhere.

Kostas Tsimikas 26 (0/6) Contract Expiry 30/6/25

The Scouser who is Greek wrote his name into Liverpool folklore with that quote after his winning penalty in the FA Cup final against Chelsea. Kostas made 26 appearances this season and will hope to build on that next year. That, however, is a tall order with one of the world’s best ahead of him at the moment.

I expect he will stay at the club in his current role as deputy left-back for at least one more season.

MY TWO CENTS

Liverpool’s defensive stocks look fairly well stocked. Two players who weren’t featured here, Nat Phillips and Neco Williams, we expect will be moved on after varying success in different loan moves.

Rhys Williams will need to leave for the good of his career and Joe Gomez just about falls into the same category.

If all four players leave, then a backup right back will need to be signed. Liverpool is linked with 18-year-old Scottish right back, Calvin Ramsay from Aberdeen.

They will also require a center-back who will be happy to be the fourth choice. Whether that comes from within or the transfer market is anyone’s guess.

Stuart Kavanagh is a sports journalist from Melbourne, Australia. Along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, he is the co-host of the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast. Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.

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