Liverpool have been very cautious during this transfer window. The Reds have kept their cheque book closed for the most part, only opening it to sign Kostas Tsimikas after they raised the cash through the sale of Dejan Lovren to Zenit. With the season starting on Saturday we can assume that Jürgen Klopp will want his business wrapped up sooner rather than later. We take a look at three ways Liverpool could line up if they make the ‘dream signing‘ of Thiago – a move Klopp is reportedly ‘pushing‘ for.
One way that the Reds could line up with the addition of Thiago would be in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Thiago at the base of the midfield alongside Fabinho.
This would leave space in the attacking midfield role for Naby Keita, Curtis Jones or Takumi Minamino or – if we’re going to dream big – Roberto Firmino, with Rhian Brewster occupying the centre forward role ahead of the Brazilian.
Having Thiago deep in this role would allow him to dictate the game and launch direct passes to the forwards.
4-3-3 – Thiago CM
Perhaps the most likely option would be to pair Thiago with Jordan Henderson or Naby Keita in centre midfield with Fabinho behind the duo.
The Reds’ midfield hasn’t been expected to contribute much to attacks by way of bodies in recent seasons, it is not often that we see a midfielder making a late run into the box to get on the end of the cross.
Rather the midfield has won the ball back quickly and effectively in order to launch direct, high octane counter attacks that are inevitably finished by the front three.
This formation would see Thiago spending most of his time around the centre circle dissembling low blocks, chipping neat balls over stubborn defences.
4-3-3 – Thiago DM
Thiago is an adept ball winner. When we want to play a more expansive game, when we are lining up against teams we are expected to beat comfortably, it could be a wise move to move him in defensive midfield.
The Spaniard made 9.91 ball recoveries per 90 league minutes last season, more than any Liverpool midfielder. He also made more interceptions than Fabinho per league 90, 2.29 to Fabinho’s 1.48.
In games where we are expected to dominate possession we would be able to rely on the ex-Barcelona man at the base of the midfield, giving freedom to the more attack minded midfielders such as Curtis Jones and Naby Keita.