Martin Odegaard would force Liverpool into high-risk striker change

Liverpool want Martin Odegaard, according to reports. It’s a move that would force a big change up top, however.

The Daily Star claims Liverpool may move for Martin Odegaard. They join Chelsea and Arsenal in that, with the Norwegian currently on loan at the latter.

Odegaard certainly wouldn’t be cheap, though. Arsenal worry the price could rise to £50m – a massive fee for a player Real Madrid don’t seem to want all that much.

Now, we’re not sure we see Liverpool paying that much. A lower fee, though, and it feels possible. Odegaard is still only 22 and clearly has immense potential.

But he doesn’t have an immediate fit. In fact, if Liverpool did sign him, it suggests a big change up top.

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Different direction

Odegaard is an attacking midfielder, rather than a centre-midfielder. He doesn’t have the physicality for a typical central Liverpool player.

The plan, then, would be to move him up the field. Odegaard wants to be between the opposition midfield and defence, finding pockets of space with which he can move the team forward.

Liverpool currently use Roberto Firmino for that. He drops from the striker position into that space, linking with the midfield.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

You can’t really have two players doing it, though. They limit their own space that way and if you want to use a traditional attacking-midfielder, you need a striker who plays on the shoulder.

That way, he can push the defence back and create more space. The no.10 then has someone to constantly look for as the striker finds space in behind.

Thus if Liverpool want Odegaard, they’ll need to move away from Firmino – the Brazilian just isn’t the right kind of player. It makes no sense to invest £50m in Odegaard to use him ineffectively.

As Firmino pushes 30, the time for change is coming anyway. But rather than find a like-for-like replacement, perhaps Liverpool will head in a different direction.

Their supposed interest in Odegaard certainly suggests so.

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