Liverpool want Guido Rodriguez, according to reports. He’s a signing that opens new options for Jurgen Klopp.
Estadio Deportivo claims Liverpool like Guido Rodriguez. They’ve ‘followed up’ on the player at Real Betis with a view to signing him this summer.
He’s be a replacement for Gini Wijnaldum but, as the report points out, he’s a different kind of player. Rodriguez is far more defensive than Liverpool’s Dutch midfielder.
The Argentine wins tackles for fun. He averages 2.5 per game – the fifth-most in La Liga. He’s top 12 for interceptions, too, making him a formidable defensive shield.
So how would that change Liverpool from Wijnaldum? Well, Rodriguez isn’t nearly as good on the ball. He’s not going to consistently post pass completion rates in the 90s, nor is he going to get up the pitch to create goals.
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Instead, he makes Liverpool more secure. And that allows for some tinkering.
As things stand, Jurgen Klopp plays with one holding midfielder in Fabinho or Jordan Henderson. Then he has two box-to-box style, pragmatic midfielders either side.
These midfielders do a bit of everything. They’ll get forward when Liverpool have the ball, tighten things up when they don’t, and cover runs from the full-backs.
But what if Liverpool didn’t go symmetrical? Klopp could drop Rodriguez in there alongside the holding player, creating a two-man defensive shield.
In turn, that lessens the defensive responsibility on the third midfielder. That could be Curtis Jones, Naby Keita or Thiago – maybe even someone new. Klopp could have that player push forward more often and play more like a traditional no.10 or a no.8.
Perhaps he goes even further with it. Play a two-man midfield at times, using Rodriguez as extra defensive cover. Then Klopp could use a front-four, much as he did at Manchester City this season.
Rodriguez would offer these possibilities. It’s not as easy to do so when you’re sharing defensive responsibility across three players.
But here’s a way to shift things in a slightly different direction. And we think, potentially, having an attacking midfielder in the side is an exciting prospect.