Liverpool want Wilfried Singo, according to reports. It’s a hint that they want something new in their attack.
Tuttosport doesn’t just claim Liverpool want Wilfried Singo, they say the Reds have bid. Now, Torino turned it down but it suggests the Reds have found a player they like.
But it also hints at something else – that they want a change in their attack.
Singo is unlike anything else they’ve got, after all. He’s a right-wingback, meaning Liverpool could use him as a winger or a full-back.
And either way, it means change. Singo plays as a more traditional wide player and the Reds don’t have that.
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Trent Alexander-Arnold plays a fairly unique game. He’s a passing machine, placing between the 96th and 99th percentile (top one to four per cent) for virtually every pass you can imagine.
The Scouser isn’t a typical winger or full-back, then. He doesn’t just look to hit the byline and get a ball into the box.
He switches play more than anyone in the world in his position. Alexander-Arnold also plays more long passes – not crosses – than anyone else.
But he doesn’t actually cross the ball more than anyone. He’s 97th percentile – still very high but not an outlier.
Alexander-Arnold plays more forward passes than any other full-back. He gets more passes into the box than any other full-back. But he’s 85th percentile for crosses into the area.
That’s really not extraordinary at all.
But it means Liverpool play in a certain way. They stretch play to allow the switches, they run in behind to take advantage of his through balls and long passes.
And they don’t play an out-and-out striker who gets on the end of crosses. They just don’t quite do them enough.
Which is why the Singo offer is so interesting. He’s a completely different wide player.
The 20-year-old doesn’t play all of these passes. Instead, he dribbles the ball (98th percentile for a full-back). Singo is really good at it, too.
He’s 98th for number of players dribbled past, 93rd for carries into the box. Singo is a player who almost exclusively looks to run the ball towards the goal and pull it back for a waiting goalscorer.
You can see that ‘pull-back mentality’ in the stats. Singo is 57th percentile for low passes and just 29th for high passes. He’s 49th for crosses into the penalty area – your average full-back, then.
Liverpool would need to change their style slightly for this. They’d want a natural goalscorer in the middle to finish off these chances, rather than a False 9 who draws defenders away.
As things are, Roberto Firmino pulls defenders out so the wingers can attack space behind. Then Alexander-Arnold and Robertson attempt to find those runs.
That doesn’t work as well with a full-back who wants to get to the by-line. You need a penalty box striker.
With reports that Jurgen Klopp wants a new forward, we wonder if this is the plan. The Athletic say he wants a ‘supplement’ to the current options, rather than a replacement.
A more ‘fox in the box’ style striker may be the answer, then. The interest in Singo certainly suggests so.