Jurgen Klopp must make a tough sacrifice as we head into the second half of the season. It could make or break Liverpool’s season.
We know the stars Liverpool will try and build their success around as they mount a title challenge.
Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Andy Robertson, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Gini Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Digo Jota.
One problem, then – that’s 12 players and it won’t mesh well with Liverpool’s need for consistency.
We recently wrote about that need. The Reds won the Premier League title last season on the back using the same group of players week in, week out.
Subscribe to Rousing The Kop TV now
It created a relentless consistency that led to unparalleled momentum and belief. That carried them to the title.
Injuries robbed Liverpool of that this season. There can’t be any consistency when you’re playing a different set of players every week.
Thus it needs to return soon – but it’ll come with a sacrifice.
As we say, there are 12 key players at Liverpool right now and they can’t form an XI. The really big decision is the system, then.
If Klopp wants to use all four of his forwards, for instance, Liverpool can’t play 4-3-3. That means trimming one from midfield and we’d imagine that would be Wijnaldum.
Henderson and Thiago would form a midfield two, with Salah, Jota, Firmino and Mane up top.
The 4-3-3 is the system that delivered the title, though. It’s undoubtedly the preferred way to go. But if Klopp wants that, he has to drop a forward from his main plans.
That’s not to say that the forward would never play, of course. But rather that as Liverpool aim for consistency, he’d be the player they push to the bench more often than not.
If Klopp wants the cohesion and fluidity of a consistent XI, he needs to make a sacrifice somewhere. He needs to make it soon, too, in order to give the team as long as possible to develop it all.
As for who that player should be? We don’t know. It feels like a near-impossible answer. Either way could work, either way could flop.
We’ll back Klopp to get it right, of course. He’s made sacrifices before and got them right. He can certainly do it again.