Liverpool want Adama Traore, according to reports, but a move only makes sense if Jurgen Klopp works some magic.
The Mirror reported twice this month that the Reds want Traore. Firstly, they claimed that Liverpool turned to Traore after losing out on Timo Werner.
But we could be wrong on that one, of course, and the Reds could make their move. If they did, however, Klopp would need to mould Traore into a different kind of player.
Traore is undoubtedly having a wonderful season and is blossoming into a very dangerous player. His strength, however, doesn’t suit the Reds right now.
The Spaniard plays as a traditional winger, beating his man on the right flank and getting in a cross. It’s something he’s virtually perfected this season and it’s led to a fantastic partnership with Raul Jimenez.
The Mexican gets on the end of those crosses and the result is seven goals from that combination this season. The most of any combination in the Premier League this season (per 90min).
Traore has nine assists total in the league this season – virtually all of them crosses to Jimenez.
It’s important to remember, then, that Liverpool don’t actually have a target man in their squad. Roberto Firmino plays as the centre-forward but he certainly isn’t in the team to consistently get on the end of crosses.
If Liverpool moved for Traore, they’d have two options. The first is obvious – can they find a target man? It’s a very risky option, though, as it requires 1. finding a player good enough and 2. changing how the team operates. No longer having Firmino as a False 9 would change the attack substantially.
The alternative is for Klopp to mould Traore into a different kind of winger. One who isn’t always looking to hit the line and can instead drift inside and threaten in other ways.
In fact, seeing as he wouldn’t come in as first-choice over Mohamed Salah, it would make sense to teach him how to play from the left, too. He’d be far more useful with that kind of versatility.
We’ve talked before about Traore being the kind of player Klopp works wonders with. And if Liverpool were to sign him, that’s exactly what they’d need.