Liverpool winners emerge from Premier League season as Arne Slot faces three big decisions

Mohamed Salah during a Liverpool training session.

Arne Slot, as we have known for a few weeks, will be the man to take over from Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool. And while he will have a slightly different title head coach rather than manager — the task will be the same.

As the Dutchman arrives, he will need to help Liverpool take the next step forward in its development with several players ready to kick on and further fulfill their potential. To help him decide the pecking order in various positions, though, the last few months will have been instructive, and Slot has already admitted that he has been watching Liverpool matches.

While he would have remained professional and committed to Feyenoord, the incoming Liverpool boss will no doubt already have a few ideas of what he wants to change this summer. And with that in mind, has taken a look at some of the winners and losers within the Liverpool squad after the 2023/24 season.

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One big winner was Jarell Quansah, who profited most from Ibrahima Konaté's inconsistency to become the breakout star of what ended up being Klopp's final campaign. It will be fascinating to see how the central defense looks for the opening game of next season, with a signing certainly possible this summer in that department to further add to the competition for places.

Quansah, though, who is expected to be named on the initial England longlist for the summer's European Championship, was a big winner. Konaté, for his injuries and inconsistency, probably falls into the opposite category, though it would not take much for the Frenchman, who has a very high ceiling, to restore himself as Virgil van Dijk's number one partner.

BIG DECISION NUMBER ONE FOR ARNE SLOT: Who is the first-choice center-back partnership?

Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold both missed significant chunks of the season through injury, too, but both are set to be a big part of next campaign under Slot. They remain Liverpool's best full-back pairing, though Conor Bradley was another winner — the other breakout star of the campaign alongside Quansah.

Elsewhere in the defense, Joe Gomez was a major winner, excelling and playing a lot more minutes than he might have anticipated (even though those mainly came at full-back rather than his preferred position in the center). Kostas Tsimikas, in contrast, dropped further down the pecking order and played fewer than 700 Premier League minutes, including only a total of 13 in 2024.

In midfield, Alexis Mac Allister was a big winner after he proved to be an excellent value signing from Brighton last summer. Dominik Szoboszlai began the season as a winner but ended it out of form and out of the team, falling somewhere in between the two categories overall.

Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister during a Liverpool training session.
Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister during a Liverpool training session. -Credit:Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Harvey Elliott was a big winner, though he would have liked to start more often. It is likely to often-mentioned that Klopp said one of his season regrets was not playing the number 19 more frequently. Meanwhile, Ryan Gravenberch was perhaps not a loser, but he too didn't play as often as he might have liked he showed glimpses but little more in an inconsistent debut campaign. More consistency will be required from him moving forward, though it should be remembered that he is still only 21.

BIG DECISION NUMBER TWO: How do you get enough minutes for Elliott and Szoboszlai in midfield? And is Mac Allister your holding player?

Mohamed Salah, Luis Díaz, Darwin Núñez, Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota are all difficult to assess as well. Liverpool scored five fewer goals than Arsenal and 10 fewer than Manchester City in the Premier League with missed chances against the likes of Manchester United and Crystal Palace proving to be costly.

The biggest drawback for Jota was another injury-hit season, while Díaz missed 13 big chances and Núñez missed 27 in the league. While Erling Haaland missed 34, his shot conversion rate was more than double that of Núñez and the Norwegian found the back of the net 27 times to the Uruguayan's 11.

Salah was injured and out of form for a while but still scored 25 goals and assisted another 14 in total; no one, meanwhile, created more big chances than the Egyptian across the Premier League. He remains the Reds' most consistent player when combining finishing with availability, even if this was a season in which questions about whether another mega-money contract being agreed would be a sensible idea are legitimate.

BIG DECISION NUMBER THREE: How can Liverpool be more clinical in front of goal? And how do you get the best out of Salah?

All in all, then, Liverpool has some big decisions to make this summer. While Szoboszlai and Gravenberch are among those hoping to improve and Elliott will want more minutes under Slot, the Dutch coach has the months ahead to make some big calls. More senior Liverpool players were winners than losers in 2023/24, and with the new head coach arriving, the slate will essentially be clean.