John Barnes assesses Liverpool’s 2022/23 season and looks ahead to summer transfer window

anfield stadium
Credit: IMAGO / Propaganda Photo

With the final league game of the season approaching Futfanatico caught up with Anfield hero John Barnes to assess Liverpool’s season. Barnes also gave us a view on two Premier League midfielders that have been linked to Liverpool in recent weeks.

Neves ideal midfield option for Liverpool says Barnes 

Ruben Neves is the latest midfielder that has been touted for a move to Liverpool. We wanted to find out from Barnes if this would be a good move for both club and player. It is well known that Barnes is a huge fan of both Jude Bellingham and Moises Caicedo. However, it appears that both players will be heading elsewhere this summer.

Neves looks likely to be departing from Wolves this summer as he has a huge desire to play Champions League football. While that isn’t something that Liverpool will be able to offer next season, Liverpool remains one of the league’s best sides and will be expecting to challenge Manchester City for the title next season.

 “Ruben Neves is a great midfielder and in my opinion Liverpool needs defensive midfielders like Caicedo or Bellingham. That’s what they need.”

“But he is a good midfielder that also can defend and he can drop down between the back four. He is really good when the team is in position, so he would be an ideal midfield player for us.”

Barnes is open to Lavia move to the Reds 

Both Chelsea and Liverpool are rumoured to be interested in Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia, who has impressed despite the club’s struggles this season. The Belgian joined Southampton from Premier League champions Manchester City for a reported £10 million. Lavia is another player who has caught Barnes’ eye and could serve as a more affordable and younger alternative to players like Caicedo and Bellingham.

“Of course, Southampton got relegated and their defensive midfielders and defenders were under a lot of pressure. To be honest, if any Southampton player were that great, they wouldn’t have been relegated.”

“But from an individual perspective, he could be a player that Liverpool is looking at and Lavia is a good player. Right now, I’m quite open to any defensive midfielder at Liverpool.”

Salah is Barnes’ player of the season 

Whilst it has been a season to forget for Liverpool, the one player that has certainly stepped up to the plate is Egyptian forward Mohammed Salah. His 19 league goals in 37 league appearances led to the Reds running rivals Manchester United close in the race for a top four finish and Champions League football next season. Barnes is of the belief that Salah has been Liverpool’s player of the season. 

“Mo Salah has been Liverpool´s best and most consistent player. Allison has been very good as well, which isn’t what you want to be honest.”

“If your goalkeeper is a contender for the team´s player of the season it means that you have been under pressure, which isn’t a good thing.”

“I don’t think any players from Liverpool have been outstanding consistently. Curtis Jones has been good recently but over a whole season, Mo Salah has been the best player.”

Jones is the Reds’ most improved player 

Whilst Liverpool are on the hunt to reinforce their midfield options this season, the recent form of academy graduate Curtis Jones has impressed Klopp. He has certainly given the German something to ponder on during the off season as Liverpool seek to reinstate themselves as title contenders next season. Barnes says Jones has been Liverpool’s most improved player this season and praises the midfielder for silencing his doubters. 

“Obviously, it has to be one of the young players because players like Salah and Van Dijk have had better seasons in the past.”

“I think the most improved player this season for Liverpool has been Curtis Jones. I think he has great potential and he has shown that in the last couple of years.”

“But this season, a lot of people were writing him off but he has shown that he is a really good player.”

“I don´t know if he has improved a lot because I´ve always been impressed with him. But keeping in mind that a lot of people were writing him off, I think we can give this award to him.”

“When the team was being inconsistent he still performed quite well.