Virgil van Dijk, the leader of Liverpool, says he “understands doubts” about the upcoming season.
This summer, six top players left Anfield, including Jordan Henderson, who was captain before Van Dijk.
Results in preseason have been mixed, and they still don’t have a defensive midfielder after three failed attempts to sign Romeo Lavia from Southampton.
“I can definitely understand [fans’ negativity] in some ways, but I’m not a very negative person,” Van Dijk said.
“But it’s clear when a lot of players leave, when your captain and vice-captain leave, and when there are only two new players coming in at the time.
“And the way we’ve been playing is really good when we have the ball, but not so good when we give up goals. I can see why some people have doubts about us.”
Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai are both midfielders who have joined Liverpool so far.
Henderson, Fabinho, Naby Keita, James Milner, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all left, leaving the Reds with fewer players and less experience in the middle of the field.
Captains from the Premier League say that players will continue to kneel.
Salah has “committed” to Liverpool despite a possible move to Saudi Arabia, his agent said.
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Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic haven’t played since last season because they are still recovering from injuries. In pre-season, Jurgen Klopp has used Cody Gakpo in the middle to make up for the lack of players.
Van Dijk, a 32-year-old Dutch defender, said that Liverpool’s players would be eager to fight for trophies this season, but he also said that he knew it would be hard.
He also said, “If we look at the teams around us, it will be very hard, but we want to be up there again, we want to be in the mix again.”
“We have to be sure of ourselves, we should be sure of ourselves, and we should keep learning every day. There have been important figures and players who have left, so now it’s time for others to step up.
“That sounds like a fun task to me. We ought to be happy. I’m very interested, so let’s try it.”