There’s an obvious quartet to go with if Jurgen Klopp wants to change his formation to 4-2-3-1. He now has the options in front of him.
Jurgen Klopp could, potentially, switch his formation up to 4-2-3-1 going forward. We’ve seen him do it twice now. First, he changed things at around 60 minutes of the Community Shield. We said at the time that the strategy had huge potential.
He did the same thing at half-time against Aston Villa, too – but without results.
Still, it’s an option going forward. He’s also got the players to make it work after Liverpool’s summer dealings. But who should he opt for as the front quartet? Here are our choices.
A 4-2-3-1 needs a no.10 and Firmino, undoubtedly, is best-suited to it. He used to play the position before moving to Liverpool for £29m, for starters.
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But he practically still plays as a no.10. Firmino isn’t a traditional striker, instead dropped deep as a ‘False 9’. Creativity is his strong-suit and that’s what the no.10 role needs.
Even in a disappointing season so far, Firmino has two assists and seven key passes in four games. If Klopp wants to switch things up, Firmino is absolutely the go-to for this role.
As for the striker role, £34m Salah is the only real choice. His record as the central striker in a 4-2-3-1 is sensational, after all.
Klopp last used the system in 18/19 while Fabinho settled in. Salah played as that no.9 13 times as a result and scored 13 times, adding another five assists.
Overall, his record in the role is 18 starts, 17 goals, five assists (per Understat). It’s hard to argue anyone else for the striker position, then. Salah is just far too good at it.
Obviously, the usual front-three were all going to be in this quartet. They’ve all switched around, though, as we wouldn’t put Mane on the left.
Instead, we’d have him take Salah’s spot on the right. Mane’s very used to the position, too, as he played it before joining Liverpool for £34m. He also played the role in his first season with the Reds, before Salah arrived.
And his record is great there. He’s played 48 games (per Understat) and scored 24 goals. You can add eight assists, too.
Now, he’s better from the left – no doubt about that. But there’s little argument that Mane is still an elite threat when playing on the right.
Jota’s the new boy, having just signed for £41m from Wolves. But we’re very excited about him – he’s five years younger than the others with heaps of potential.
Jota is also best from the left and if everyone moves about a bit, Liverpool can boost their attack while keeping the usual front-three in the side.
With this setup, you’re effectively boosting Salah’s goal stats, slightly reducing Mane’s, keeping Firmino doing what he does best, and then adding Jota’s output.
If Liverpool can make this work, everything seems to slot together perfectly.