Liverpool have a huge end to the season lined up in which we could win the Europa League and finish strongly in the Premier League.
During this time, these five players need very strong individual performances if they’re to keep first-team spots next season.
There’s a few we’ve not included on this list, because we don’t think they’ll get the opportunity. Christian Benteke is injured and unlikely to get chances ahead of Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge, while the likes of Steven Caulker (and probably Tiago Ilori) are nailed on for a summer departure!
The problem Mignolet suffers is that he’s so disliked by the fanbase, his good performances go unnoticed. Since his League Cup Final blunder in February, he’s been very solid, with Liverpool losing just once in ten matches – but there’s still the sense that a top keeper might arrive in the summer to compete with the Belgian for the no.1 jersey. With Danny Ward also coming through, a poor end to the season could consign Mignolet to a backup spot, despite his contract extension earlier this season. Jurgen Klopp will likely buy a stopper this summer, and Mignolet’s form during the next four weeks could decide if it’s an understudy or a starter.
Moreno is a fullback Klopp likes. That much has been proven by the fact the manager chooses the Spaniard over fans’ favourite Jon Flanagan, despite calls for the Scouser to get more game time. But Moreno has shown defensive susceptibility far too often this campaign. He’s a bundle of energy going forward, but lacks a calm head at the back and sometimes makes ridiculous decisions at the back, confounded by poor positioning. Heavy links to Germany international Jonas Hector might convince the 23-year-old to shore up or face either a summer exit or a spot on next season’s bench.
The most obvious player on this list, who despite excellent recent form is still under threat. Allen’s improved tenfold under Klopp, but the German has not yet agreed to extend his contract – which runs out in 2017. With Emre Can and Jordan Henderson injured for the rest of the term, Allen has an opportunity to earn that new deal, as he’ll likely be a regular starter in our next six of seven matches. There’s no way if Allen maintains his current level he won’t get a renewal, so his future is very much in his hands, and perhaps the motivation of the contract has actually helped.
Lucas’s spot in Klopp’s plans is in danger, sadly. The loyal Brazilian is a warrior at his best, but with Marko Grujic signing as a central midfield option and Joel Matip already confirmed as a new centre-back arrival, Lucas has more players who’ll usurp him in the pecking order for his two favoured positions. With the likes of Joe Gomez returning from injury at the back, and the development of Kevin Stewart, Cameron Brannagan and Pedro Chirivella centrally – more obstacles will get in the way before next season. Like with Joe Allen though, Lucas will get game-time over the next month, due to injuries. He’ll need to be at his battling best and not his sloppy worst – for his and our sake. We don’t like the thought of Lucas elsewhere, so hope he proves he’s ready to stay and fight.
Lallana’s role in Klopp’s plans and squad is safe, but his position in the starting XI is less sturdy, especially for next season – if the Mario Gotze rumours prove true. If we sign the German, we’ll have Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Gotze, returning Lazar Markovic and prodigal duo Jordon Ibe and Sheyi Ojo competing for attacking midfield spots. Lallana’s goals and assists do not match his work-rate, and we’ll need to see more consistent end product from now until the summer if the playmaker wants to maintain his current key role. With Divock Origi’s current development, there may be room for only one natural attacking midfielder and not three in the future, if Klopp chooses to pair the Belgian with Daniel Sturridge. All the more reason for Lallana to provide substance as well as lovely footwork.