Talk Sport

Liverpool: How Jurgen Klopp’s men could line up next season with Raphael Varane and Paulo Dybala but without Sadio Mane


Under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool are slowly but surely becoming one of the biggest clubs in Europe once again.

After blowing Roma and Manchester City away in the Champions League knockout stages last season, the Reds went and dumped Bayern Munich out of this season’s competition in their own back yard.

Although Klopp has spent big to create a team he feels capable of dominating both domestically and Europe, silverware has so far eluded the genial German.

Jurgen Klopp will be keen to avoid yet more final heartache with Liverpool

Defeat in the League Cup and Europa League finals in his first season at Anfield were followed by an implosion during the Champions League final last season against Real Madrid.

In order to rectify this, Klopp spent big in the summer on Fabinho and Alisson Becker, with Naby Keita also finally completing his move to Merseyside.

And, if rumours are to be believed, the former Borussia Dortmund boss will be doing it all over again.

Liverpool are locked in a two-horse race for the Premier League title and face Ajax in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Dybala and Varane clash in the Champions League last season

But the fear of failure once again clearly is motivating Klopp as Italian sources are reporting Paulo Dybala is a serious target.

There are also rumours linking Sadio Mane with a move to Real Madrid to become one of the first if the new breed of ‘Galacticos’ under Zinedine Zidane.

And in order to make the deal happen, Los Blancos are reportedly willing to let Raphael Varane move the other way.

And, according to Goal, Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Pascal Gross has been linked with a £15million move to Anfield in the summer.


But how on earth would Klopp manage to fit all these new names into an already star-studded line up?

Here talkSPORT.com have taken a look at several potential Liverpool teams for next season.

FALSE 9 – INVERTED 4-3-3

At times this season, Liverpool have seemed a touch one-dimensional. After tearing apart so many teams on the break last season, opposition defences soon became savvy to what they had to stop.

By restricting space in behind their backline, opposition teams have frustrated the Reds at times this season.

Mohamed Salah spurned two glorious opportunities against Everton this month

As a result, Mohamed Salah has cut a frustrated figure at times this season. Opposition full-backs have tucked in and played more conservatively against the ‘Egyptian King’.

Klopp has loved playing with three up top since succeeding Brendan Rodgers in 2015 and, despite the fear of losing key man Mane, could still do that.

Pep Guardiola changed the way modern football was played during his time in charge at Barcelona, with no tactical ploy more daring or ingenious than playing without a recognised striker.

The ‘false 9’ as it became known caused havoc as Barcelona won the Champions League with Lionel Messi being given freedom to roam, so much so that Spain used the same formation at Euroe 2012.

With Dybala used in this role, Salah and strike partner Roberto Firmino could well be given more space to operate and centre-backs would become disorientated and confused – a recipe for disaster against Liverpool’s ‘heavy-metal’ football.

Pascal Gross would fit seamlessly into the position currently occupied by veteran James Milner

LOOKING GROSS – 4-2-3-1

While the rumours linking Pascal Gross with a move to Anfield may surprise a few fans, there is certainly logical thinking behind it.

During his debut season in the Premier League last season, Gross scored seven goals and registered eight assists from midfield in a Brighton side not renowned for attacking flair.

While his stats from this season are not as impressive, the former Ingolstadt midfielder is efficient in his work and diligent off the ball.

Having not picked up a booking this season, Gross knows when to put his foot in and when to drift off to cut passing lanes instead.

Gross is a midfielder who does not need stats to justify his value

Reds supporters need to only look at the success of Xherdan Shaqiri and Georginio Wijnaldum to know Klopp has the ability to pluck players from struggling Premier League team and turn them into superstars.

When 4-3-3 has not worked this season, the German has implemented a 4-2-3-1 system which has allowed the Reds to play through the lines more regularly.

With Salah playing the role of front man, defenders will have to limit the space in behind given the 26-year-old’s ability to break offside traps.

With space in front of the defence, Dybala, Gross and Firmino can wreak havoc, and the the German midfielder will be able to swap with Naby Keita should the Guinean make a lung-bursting run beyond the forwards.

Liverpool could find it easier to break teams down with this formation

 

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