A season of new beginnings. A season of triumph and a season of success. Luke Hendricks guided his Liverpool team to multiple trophies in the 2022/23 season. He now has the job of continuing that success.
This is Luke's Liverpool.
The 2022/23 season was one of Liverpool's most successful years in recent memory. They won a remarkable quadruple, with a Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup being added to the clubs famous trophy collection. For Luke Hendricks it was the best first season he could imagine at his new club.
“I thought we were excellent all year. From the first whistle, literally, it took us what, ten minuets to score the first against Arsenal? We were brilliant and remained focused on the next game to win. That is a sign of a squad of winners, they don’t get caught up in celebrating the game or the trophy won that day, they are already focusing on the next one.”
“We had some time off and now we need to regain that focus for the season ahead. Some players will leave, some will arrive. It’s our job as a coaching staff to make sure we make the correct calls in who those players are and to get them all adjusted to playing together again. This is going to be a massive pre-season once more but we are excited and looking forward to getting out there once again.” Luke Hendricks said.
Signings did come and go for Liverpool, Ben Chilwell and Florian Thauvin leaving within the first few days of the window. Whilst nine players had arrived at the club by the end of June with six of those being academy signings. In the first team, Sergio Pulido, Marcênio and young Charlton midfielder Cain Hicks.
“To join a club like Liverpool is something that I had always dreamed about growing up, just like so many young footballers around the world do. It’s a massive club that has a great history with success ingrained in it and I can’t wait to pull on the shirt and walk out onto the pitch for the first time.”
“Many people have questioned my move already, after playing such a big role in getting Charlton, a club I have been at since I was a boy, back to back promotions into the Premier League. I love the club and have great memories there and I will always be thankful to those there for giving me the chance to impress but when the Premier League champions come knocking, you can’t think twice about it.”
“I know that I am going to have to do a lot to prove myself right for the starting role with world class players in the squad already. But I have a lot of faith in myself and believe when given the chance, I will make the most of it. I am very excited to be working with one of the best players to play the role in Paulo Dybala and I will learn a lot from him. When the time comes, I will be ready to make my impact, I truly believe that.” stated Cain Hicks
Hicks, who joined Liverpool for just £4,500,000, a relatively low fee for an English talent, was later joined by Vinícius Júnior and Simone Staub. With the arrivals joining, José Giménez left to China for £63,000,000 signing for Guangzhou Evergrande. Also leaving the club on loans were nine young talents, including Ryan Fraser, Harvey Elliott and Becir Omeragic.
“Getting the loans right are massively important for us here and for many clubs in our position. It takes a massive ask for an eighteen, nineteen, twenty year old to break into a first eighteen of superstars. If you look at our current group, you have Paulo Dybala, Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk all starting almost every week. Where does that leave players like Ryan Fraser, Harvey Elliott and Becir Omeragic.”
“They are all very talented players, who will have a future at this club but they are at a level now where they need to be playing every week to be getting the most out of themselves. The Under 23s is a good level, but nothing is as good as First team football week in week out. That’s why we have let so many talented youngsters leave the club on loans this window.”
“Ryan joins Motherwell, a current Scottish Championship side. He will be expected to be starting every game there and impressing in a side that should be getting promoted this season. He may well be called back in January if he does well there and either moved to a different side at a higher level or potentially playing a few minutes at first team level here.”
“Harvey Elliott will play Championship football at Swansea, which again we feel is a level he should excel at currently. With Becir Omeragic going to Stade Rennais to play Ligue 1 football in France. Those three as well as the other six players we have allowed to go on loan this window, have all been allowed to go to a level of football we expect them to succeed at whilst challenging them at a physical level, something that is needed at their ages.” said Loan manager Julian Ward.
Pre-Season at Liverpool was another successful one, with victories over Shamrock Rovers (5-1) Beijing Renhe (6-0) Suwon Bluewings (5-0) Cliftonville (10-0) and Tranmere Rovers (8-0). A draw against Shandong Luneng (1-1) was the only blip for Luke’s side but all looked good heading into the Community Shield final against Arsenal.
“Boss, can I come in?” asked Leonidas who had been sent off against Arsenal in Liverpool's 1-0 defeat in the Community Shield.
“Yes Leo, of course, sit down.” Luke replied.
“Boss, I just wanted to say sorry for getting the red card in the game yesterday. I know it is my fault we didn’t win and if I had stayed on my feet the boys at the back would have likely stopped the attack themselves. It was silly of me and I am very sorry. I know there is a lot in the press at the moment about you possibly losing faith in me and starting someone else in the first game of the season, but I want to promise that won’t happen again and I have learnt from my mistake.” the twenty year old pleaded.
“Leo, firstly, thank you for the apology, not many older professionals are mature enough to come to the office and do what you have here. That shows your maturity at a very young age and I appreciate that. Secondly, don’t listen to the press, they come up with random stories just to get a few clicks and buys, it’s going to happen and you can expect more of it throughout your career. Red cards happen, should you have made the tackle? No. But you are young and have recognised that. Continue to work hard and I have no problem with starting you still.” Luke stated as he addressed his player.
With the Community Shield becoming the first final Luke Hendricks has lost in his career, deadline day was right around the corner, with Liverpool still keen to strengthen.
“How are we doing on the targets Michael?” asked Luke to his Director of football Michael Edwards.
“Well, we have agreed a deal with Newcastle, for Ahmet Özgen, he’s going to cost £14,750,00 all upfront after he handed in his transfer request. On the face of it, it’s an expensive transfer for a player who is still eighteen. But he qualifies as homegrown and he could be one of the countries leading strikers in a few years time. He played three games last season for Newcastle and scored twice.” replied Micahel Edwards.
“Yeah he’s an exciting player that’s for sure. I think I will keep him training with the first team this season, and he will play under 23 games. We could loan him out, but I think we keep him as third choice for now behind Bobby and Erling Haaland.” stated Luke. “What about Sergio Gómez and Alessio Riccardi?” questioned the manager.
“Well, Hoffenhiem have accepted our bid of £30,000,000 rising to potentially £68,000,000 for Gómez but Roma want £90,000,000 for Riccardi. Who would you prefer?” asked Edwards.
“Well we got what, £60,000,000 for Memphis Depay from Barca. So he effectively pays the Gómez fee. I don’t think there is a £22,000,000 difference in quality, so let's go for Sergio.” answered Luke.
With the deadline hitting, Liverpool completed the deals for both Ahmet Özgen and Sergio Gómez. As the deadline ended, Luke had just one thing to focus on, the opening day against newly promoted Burnley.
Has to be the goal, will certainly be interesting to see how Luke bounces back seeing it's the first final he has lost as a manager. Could be a good thing that he has the Super Cup almost immediately after this loss.
A good point indeed. Could be just what was needed to get us going into the new year.
Agreed, should be sacked for beating us