Funny thing is, the defending aspect in our team starts with the attack. So, before even talking about defenders, I’d say that in this pre-season, attackers will have to show much better defending from the front. Then, the midfielders to follow that, hopefully with the help of new arrivals and current players raising their form. Then, the defence will have to push up more, hopefully have “less” to do, but within that, cut out the individual mistakes from last season.
Now… more on individuals.
Ideally, I’d say Gomez and Matip are not good enough to be here anymore going forward. I hoped one would leave this summer and if no major improvement happens, the other one next summer. I do admit that they can both be useful in some capacity over a season. We’ve seen it before, the CB dynamic changed a lot in the RCB position alongside Virgil.
Even Konate, he’s averaging 24.6 per season in his last 6 years and 26.5 in his last two for Liverpool. Plus, he’s not the finished article yet. Certainly not secure enough overall in terms of availability and consistency for a CB, not to have (new) competition. I thought we would be looking more RCB this summer, but obviously more of a LCB is on the agenda. I guess we want a player like Ake.
Virgil showed some weaknesses last season and in last weeks. He played a lot of football also. Still our best CB, that’s not even a question. We will hope he can recover some of his form next season.
I’m happy to still have Robbo and Tsimi at LB. Knowing that the latter might be sold at some point if a good offer arrives, we have a plan what to do and the players wants to go.
I didn’t think this would be the summer when we buy a new RB, that could happen in 2024 or in a few years, depending on other things. For now, Trent is not a full time midfielder. He might be that for England from now on, but he’s not for us.
A left sided CB might give us more balance. Even if Gomez and Konate can play at LCB, we probably want someone more comfortable there.