Football Manager 2019: Liverpool Team Guide, Player Ratings & Tactics


What a season Liverpool are having. Top of the Premier League and into the last eight of the Champions League, it perhaps marks their best season since becoming European Champions in 2005. There squad is among the greatest in Europe, with Jurgen Klopp combining exciting football with positive results. 

Due to the amount of talent and energy in this Liverpool squad, the Reds are a fantastic choice to take charge of on Football Manager 2019. RealSport gives you all you need as you get your hands on Salah, Mane, Van Dijk & co. 

Philosophies

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There are a range of philosophies to follow as Liverpool boss. For your playing style, you should play possession and attacking football. Off the pitch, you must sign young players for the first team and develop players using the club’s youth system

Expectations

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The expectations are realistic at Anfield, with the board demanding you finish in the top four of the English Premier Division and qualify for the Champions Cup. In the FA Cup, you will need to reach the final of the competition and in Europe, it is expected you will reach the semi-finals

Tactical style

In picking up a squad left to you by Jurgen Klopp, it does make a lot of sense to go with his Gegenpress tactical style. There are a host of others you can choose, such as control possession, fluid counter attack, tiki-taka, vertical tiki-taka and wing play. 

Formation

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It makes sense to go with some sort of 4-3-3 with Liverpool, with the 4-1-2-3 DM wide your best bet. 

New goalkeeper Alisson takes the number one shirt, with the back four made up by Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson. Dejan Lovren will come in for Gomez upon his return from injury.

Fabinho is the defensive midfielder, with Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner in the middle of the park. The familiar attack of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will terrorise any defence.

On the bench go for Simon Mignolet, Alberto Moreno, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, Adam Lallana, Xherdan Shaqiri and Daniel Sturridge. Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also big in the mix after their injury spells.  

Key players

Liverpool have strength all over the park, something they haven’t had in previous seasons. You have the star quality to overcome any opponent on FM 19. 

Mohamed Salah – CA 4.5 star (180), PA 4.5 star (188)

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It comes as no surprise that Mohamed Salah is the best player at Liverpool after the Egyptian netting the record number of goals in a 38-game Premier League season with 32. The right winger will be your main attacking threat, and with him combining with fellow attackers Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, goals won’t be an issue for you on FM.

The 26-year-old Salah has a 180 CA on the game, which can rise to an incredible potential of 188. Stats of 18 acceleration, 18 finishing and 18 off the ball see him valued at £75 million and earn him wages of £200,000 a week. 

Virgil van Dijk – CA 4 star (173), PA 4 star (175)

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A firm contender for Liverpool’s best player, and certainly their top performer this season, Virgil van Dijk has transformed the Reds’ defence since joining from Southampton in a £75 million deal in January 2018. The Dutchman has conceded just 52 goals in 60 games for Liverpool, and is already their third-choice captain. 

Van Dijk’s 173 CA on Football Manager is just two off his 175 potential, and with stats of 18 heading, 18 strength and 18 jumping reach, he is the second best centre back on the game behind Sergio Ramos. The Holland captain has a value of £59 million with wages of £180,000 a week. 

Alisson – CA 4 star (172), PA 4.5 star (180)

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Alisson has also been a huge asset since his £67 million arrival from Roma in the summer. The Brazilian number one was briefly the most expensive goalkeeper in the world and he has backed up his transfer fee with 20 clean sheets in 39 Liverpool games this season.

On FM, Alisson has stats of 19 determination, 18 reflexes and 18 rushing out to take his CA to 172 with the potential to reach 180. The 25-year-old is valued at £49 million with a wage of £120,000 a week. 

Young talent

Liverpool’s academy has produced some bright talent over the years, with England internationals Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Raheem Sterling, Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Jamie Carragher and now Trent Alexander-Arnold all becoming quality players for the first team. Who could be next to come through at Anfield?

Rhian Brewster – CA 1.5 star (99), PA 4-5 star (140-170)

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Rhian Brewster was one of England’s stars at their victorious U17 World Cup, with the now 18-year-old the top scorer in the competition with eight goals. He is yet to appear for the Liverpool first team, but with a 99 CA able to rise to a potential between 140 and 170, expect the right winger or striker to make the step up in the near future. 

Ben Woodburn – CA 2 star (126), PA 3-4 star (130-160)

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Despite just 11 first team appearances for Liverpool and a further eight out on loan at Sheffield United, Ben Woodburn is already a regular for Wales with nine caps. The 19-year-old versatile attacker’s 126 CA can improve to between 130 and 160 on FM. 

Curtis Jones – CA 1.5 star (93), PA 3-4 star (130-160)

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England U18 international made his debut for the first team this season after starting in a heavily rotated and injury struck FA Cup loss to Wolves. The attacking midfielder is another local lad with a promising future judging by his 93 CA and potential between 130 and 160. 

Team report

Strengths
Weaknesses
Composure
Goalkeeper depth
Midfield depth
Defence depth
Marking
Overall depth
Balance
Acceleration
GK Eccentricity
Attack depth
Youth prospects
Decisions
Technique
Flair
Strength
Dribbling
Star goalkeeper (Alisson)
Star defender (Virgil van Dijk)
Star midfielder (Mohamed Salah)
Wage budget
Passing
Coaching staff

Dynamics

Team Leaders - Jordan Henderson (C), James Milner (VC), Mohamed Salah

Highly influential - Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino, Dejan Lovren, Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum, Simon Mignolet, Virgil van Dijk

The Transfer Market

Starting transfer budget: £31 million

Remaining wage budget: £250,000 a week

Players to sell

You could easily keep the same squad at Liverpool, but if you want to bring in anyone new, you will need to let a player go due to the depth you have. Dejan Lovren may be in your starting lineup when he returns from injury, but with his CA just two higher than the 21-year-old Joe Gomez, there is no need to keep the Croatian. With him worth more than Joel Matip, you should sell Lovren for around £26 million, freeing up an extra £100,000 a week for your wage budget. 

Transfer targets

New transfer budget: £57 million

New remaining wage budget: £350,000 a week

New centre half

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With Lovren out, you can bring in a new defender. They only need to be in our side for a season or two as after that Joe Gomez will come into the starting lineup. That said, with you going for the top bracket of centre backs, expect to spend the majority of your transfer budget. 

With other options highly expensive, we have decided to go for versatile Real Madrid defender Nacho. The Spanish international can play anywhere across the back four, which is ideal given you only have one conventional right back, and back up left back Alberto Moreno is unreliable. The 28-year-old has a CA of 155, just three off his 158 potential, and will cost you £34 million with wages starting at £80,000 a week. 

Alternative options

Player
Age
Club
Country
CA/ PA
Value
Wage
Jose Gimenez
23
A. Madrid
Uruguay
158/ 168
£40m
£62k
Diego Godin
32
A. Madrid
Uruguay
164/ 169
£37m
£169k
Raphael Varane
25
R. Madrid
France
159/ 172
£47m
£179k
Niklas Sule
22
Bayern Munich
Germany
155/ 168
£47m
£52k
Stefan Savic
27
A. Madrid
Montenegro
153/ 158
£24m
£77k

Contracts

Three players have contracts running out at the end of the season, and it is at your discretion whether to renew them. Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi are your backup strikers, and you are likely to sell one of them next season. To avoid losing them on a free we’d advise you to extend them by another year. As for Alberto Moreno, he is the weakest member of the first team, so you can afford to release him at the season’s end. 

Finances

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Liverpool’s finances are looking well, with the overall balance of the club set to increase at the end of the season. Turnover is remaining constants, but with expenditure also set to rise, your profits will also soon start to decrease. There is no need to panic, with your transfer budget likely to be around the £100 million mark next season. 

One more step

Liverpool have been building superbly under Jurgen Klopp, with reaching the Champions League final last season an outstanding achievement in itself. That said, no silverware has been claimed since 2012, with that ending a six-year wait for a trophy. This needs to change, and Jurgen Klopp’s dismissal of the cup competitions is a dangerous precedent. 

With a youthful squad on FM, you have time to progress this Liverpool side, and it would not be foolish to target a cup victory in your first season. Yes, the Reds can beat any opponent on their day, but if you get knocked out at the semi-finals in Europe and finish second in the league, you have nothing to show for it. No FA Cup has returned to Merseyside since 2006, and it is high time that changed. 

Full Liverpool player ratings

Player
Age
Pos
Role
Duty
Role Ability
CA/ PA
Starting lineup
Alisson
25
GK
SK
Support Attack
4 stars
172/ 180
Trent-Alexander-Arnold
19
WBR DR
WB CWB FB
Any
3 stars
149/ 170
Joe Gomez
21
DC DR
BPD FB
Defend Cover Support Auto
3 stars
149/ 175
Virgil van Dijk
27
DC
BPD
Defend Stopper
4 stars
173/ 175
Andrew Robertson
24
DL WBL
WB FB
Any
3 stars
152/ 162
Fabinho
24
MC DM
BBM Mezzala DLP SV
Support Defend
3 stars
156/ 164
Georginio Wijnaldum
27
MC DM
DLP Mezzala AP
Any
3 stars
155/ 158
James Milner
32
MC
BBM DLP
Support Defend
3 stars
156/ 157
Mohamed Salah
26
AMR ST
IF
Attack Support
4.5 stars
180/ 188
Roberto Firmino
26
ST AMC
DLF AP
Support Attack
4.5 stars
172/ 175
Sadio Mane
26
AMR AML
Winger IF
Support Attack
4.5 stars
172/ 175
Substitutes
Simon Mignolet
30
GK
SK
Any
2.5 stars
146/ 152
Alberto Moreno
25
WBL DL
WB
Support Auto
3 stars
143/ 152
Jordan Henderson
28
DM MC
DLP SV
Defend Support BBM
3.5 stars
156/ 168
Naby Keita
23
MC DM
BBM Mezzala AP
Support Attack
3.5 stars
153/ 170
Adam Lallana
30
AMC AML
AP AM
Support Attack
3.5 stars
155/ 159
Xherdan Shaqiri
26
AMR AML AMC
IF
Support Attack
3 stars
150/ 163
Daniel Sturridge
28
ST
AF
Attack
3 stars
147/ 168
Reserves
Divock Origi
23
ST
AF PF
Attack
3 stars
145/ 158
Injured
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
24
AMR MC
Winger
Support Attack
3 stars
151/ 156
Dejan Lovren
29
DC
BPD CD
Defend Stopper
3 stars
151/ 153
Joel Matip
26
DC
BPD
Defend Cover
3 stars
148/ 155
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