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3 Liverpool XIs after reported Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain position change

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could undergo a position change next season, according to reports. We look at three ways Liverpool could use it to their advantage.

The Liverpool Echo claims Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may change position next season. He’s apparently shining in training as both a no.10 and a wide player.

The 27-year-old initially made his name as a winger, of course. At Arsenal he even played the full-back and wing-back roles before joining Liverpool.

Under Jurgen Klopp, however, Oxlade-Chamberlain has almost exclusively played in a midfield three. That could be about to change, though.

So here are three ways Klopp can take advantage of a position change with Oxlade-Chamberlain. Obviously, you can swap several players around (Konate for Gomez, Thiago for Henderson etc.) so we’ve just gone with potential options.

A 4-2-3-1

Alisson
Alexander-Arnold – Gomez- Van Dijk – Robertson
Fabinho – Henderson
Salah – Oxlade-Chamberlain – Mane
Firmino

Here’s the most simple move – just pushing one midfielder forward to create a 4-2-3-1.

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Fabinho and Henderson are both wonderful holding midfielders, allowing Oxlade-Chamberlain to play higher up the pitch. That effectively creates a high-energy front-four with a ton of pace and work-rate.

All three players behind Roberto Firmino boast that pace. His movement and ability to drop deep should create plenty of space for them to run into, too. It’s a very simple switch of formation but one that could create a devastatingly quick team.

Salah up top

Alisson
Alexander-Arnold – Gomez- Van Dijk – Robertson
Fabinho – Henderson
Oxlade-Chamberlain – Firmino – Mane
Salah

This one’s very similar to the last but it takes advantage of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s flexibility to move Mohamed Salah.

We’ve long talked about just how good the Egyptian is when leading the line. His goal record in that role is absolutely phenomenal.

And here’s a way to make use of it with some regularity. In truth, this one still exists even with Diogo Jota on the left or right. Oxlade-Chamberlain playing more games wide, however, opens up more opportunities to do it.

You wouldn’t need the entire front-four to be fit, which has been the problem in the past. All of Firmino, Salah, Jota and Sadio Mane would have had to be at their best to get a front-four going.

But with Oxlade-Chamberlain, it should be easier to get Salah into that forward role next season.

3-5-2

Alisson
Gomez – Van Dijk – Konate
Alexande-Arnold – Henderson – Fabinho – Robertson
Oxlade-Chamberlain
Salah – Mane

So here’s something very different. We talked last week about Liverpool’s abundance of centre-backs and how that could open up playing three at the back.

Having three centre-backs reduces the need for midfielders to cover he full-backs. As a result, playing a no.10 is more viable. But Oxlade-Chamberlain’s energy means he could still drop back enough to create a three-man midfield.

Photo by Jason Cairnduff – Pool/Getty Images

Alternatively, he could push further forward with so many players behind him. That creates a very versatile, lightening-quick attack with three players who are all comfortable playing centrally or wide.

Given the lack of wingers, that ability to drift into any space could make this very hard to contain.

Thoughts?

So that’s just three options and, we should say, we wouldn’t expect any of these to be a first-choice selection next season. But as potential systems in certain games? All three could fit into various scenarios.

Changing Oxlade-Chamberlain’s position at all suggests we’ll see some tinkering next season. Klopp doesn’t usually change his system, after all, and that system doesn’t feature a no.10.

So we may well see new formations in play. Here are just three but there are many more. With the versatility in this squad, Klopp can likely play however he likes next season.

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