Liverpool had their worst injury crisis of recent memory last season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side went into the campaign as Premier League champions but wound up scraping a top-four finish on the final day of the season.
Much of that is because Liverpool were without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez since October, while Joel Matip being injured since January didn’t help matters.
Next year will be different for the Reds who, in addition to getting Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip back, will have Ibrahima Konate after his £36 million summer move to Anfield.
And there’s another centre-back who has admitted his desire to play for the Merseyside club at one point in the future.
Josko Gvardiol, who joined Leipzig for £16.3 million last summer, has revealed that he grew up idolising the Premier League giants and ‘definitely’ would like to play for them some day.
He told 24hr Sata: “From a young age, I watched Liverpool games with my dad and I grew up with just them. When I took football more seriously, I started following them, and I definitely want the Premier League and Liverpool move one day.”
He’s still an unknown quantity on these shores and Gvardiol’s love for Liverpool won’t mean all that much for fans of the Anfield club right now.
But he’s still only 19 and despite his youth, he will be representing Croatia at the European Championships this summer.
The Croats always have a decent spell in major tournaments and if the player impresses, which he may well do, then perhaps some Liverpool supporters will take more note of what he has just said.
Of course, there’ll be no talk of a move to Klopp’s side because, well, they don’t need central defenders any longer, but they will again at some stage and if Gvardiol proves himself in the Bundesliga then who knows, the next time Michael Edwards and Klopp ring Leipzig it may be about him.