Just six months ago, Liverpool were on the verge of winning a historic quadruple. Fast forward to today, and they seem like a club in need of a rebuild.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have made a slow start to the 2022/23 season, and while their form is starting to improve, their chances of claiming a second Premier League title seem very slim.
The good news? Football Manager 2023 is out, meaning you can take charge at Anfield and start sorting out the mess the Reds have found themselves in.
To get your Liverpool save off to a flyer, check out our list of the first things to do when taking charge of the club in FM23.
Milner is a legend, but it might be time to say goodbye / James Williamson – AMA/GettyImages
Liverpool have a squad packed to the rafters with talent. What they lack, however, is youth.
If you want to raise funds for a full-scale rebuild, it might be a good idea to sell a few of these older players before their transfer value drops off a cliff. Jettisoning the likes of James Milner is a no-brainer, but if you’re feeling brave you could even sell one of your high-value older players such as Roberto Firmino.
Use the funds raised from sales to bring in some high-potential youngsters, and you’ll have Liverpool set up for the next few seasons.
Fabinho could do with a helping hand / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages
Liverpool’s failure to refresh their midfield options in recent years has led to their slide down the table this season.
Fabinho is a great player, but with Gini Wijnaldum gone and Thiago Alcantara frequently injured, the Brazilian needs some support in the middle of the park.
If you want to taste success with Liverpool, finding a new midfielder or two should be a top priority. Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will cost a pretty penny, but he’s a great all-purpose midfielder who is more than capable of playing in a title-winning side.
You’ll need to win over the Anfield faithful / Jan Kruger/GettyImages
New in FM23 is the Supporter Confidence feature, which gives you a breakdown of your club’s fanbase and how they feel about the work you’re doing.
Liverpool have one of football’s most passionate and dedicated fanbases, and winning them over will be crucial to your chances of success. At least you’re not taking over from their most successful manager of the modern era or anything…
Liverpool have sorely missed Mane this season / ANP/GettyImages
Mohamed Salah, Firmino, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez are very good options to start off with, make no mistake. But if you’re looking to give your Liverpool side the edge, you might want to prioritise signing a replacement for Sadio Mane.
Liverpool have certainly missed Mane’s goals and pressing this season, and you might feel the same way if you start the season without replacing him. Perhaps a cheeky bid for Cody Gakpo is in order?
It could be worth tying Naby Keita down / Matthew Ashton – AMA/GettyImages
An important thing to do when joining any club in Football Manager is to check if any of your players are approaching the end of their contract.
Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino are among the Liverpool players set to leave the club in 2023. Either one of these players could fetch you a few quid in the transfer market or even be part of your squad, so you might want to extend their deals before you do anything else.
James Balagizi is just one Liverpool talent worth keeping an eye on / Pete Norton/GettyImages
We all know about Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho, but there’s a treasure trove of young talent at Liverpool just waiting for a first-team opportunity.
James Balagizi, Kaide Gordon and Mateusz Musialowski are just three hidden gems in the Liverpool youth setup who have the potential to blossom into star players. If you create space for them in the first-team setup, they could be ready for the step up in a year or two.
Trent could do with a little TLC / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages
Liverpool have no shortage of game-changing talent. The issue is how you get the best out of your star players.
It’s no secret that Trent Alexander-Arnold is not the best defender in the world, but the right-back’s creativity and attacking threat make him an invaluable player in the right setup. Devising a system that allows players like him to thrive could be the difference between being the next Klopp or the next Hodgson.
An affiliate club can help with developing young talent / MB Media/GettyImages
We’ve already covered the young talent available to you as Liverpool manager – but it can be difficult to give every youth player the gametime they need to develop.
Finding a decent affiliate club means you can loan them as many players as you like, essentially functioning as an extension of your academy. Just make sure they’re a good enough club to make the arrangement worthwhile.
Liverpool offer state-of-the-art training facilities / LINDSEY PARNABY/GettyImages
Liverpool opened a new training ground in 2021, and this is reflected by the ‘exceptional’ rating given to their training facilities in FM23.
This will give you an edge over your competition when preparing for matches – however, you need to keep an eye on the status of your training and youth facilities to make sure they don’t fall into disrepair.
Liverpool have spotted more than a few bargains in recent years / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages
Liverpool are by no means a poor club, and you should have a sizeable budget to improve your squad if you keep achieving decent finishes in the league. But they’re no PSG, and you won’t be able to match every team in terms of spending.
Hiring the best scouts you can find is a real difference-maker in Football Manager. If you can be first on the scene when a Brazilian wonderkid is available for £5m, you can grab yourself any number of world-class players for an absolute steal. The only hard part is giving them space to develop and reach their full potential.