Jurgen Klopp will have to change his rotation policy if he wants to add Nicolas Pepe to his Liverpool squad.
The Ivorian’s stock rose greatly this season, thanks to 22 Ligue 1 goals. It was enough to make the league’s Team of the Season and, inevitably, bring about suitors.
Pepe’s exploits this season would make him an instant starter at all of these clubs – except Liverpool. There, he would have to compete with arguably the best front-three in Europe.
In particular, he’d be competing for the right-wing spot with Mohamed Salah. That’s about as difficult a contest as you can have in a squad right now and one Pepe is unlikely to win.
It would be a real problem for the 24-year-old; would Pepe really want to come to club with that much competition?
The only way to tempt Pepe would be for Klopp to change his rotation policy.
Xherdan Shaqiri, Daniel Sturridge, and Divock Origi were Klopp’s options from the bench this season. None of them played regular football, however.
Shaqiri started the most Premier League games of the trio: 11. That certainly isn’t much and a number that Pepe would surely not be satisfied with.
It’s still far more than either of the other two managed, however. Origi and Sturridge started four each, suggesting that Klopp’s rotation policy needs some work.
That’s only if he wants real quality options outside of the front three, of course. Perhaps he doesn’t, preferring to have settled first-choice players with decent-enough quality behind.
But if he wants someone like Pepe, he’ll have to change.