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Liverpool could find themselves reliant on Roberto Firmino despite just 17 starts last season - RTK View

Liverpool could now be reliant on Roberto Firmino after completing their deal for Darwin Nunez. The Brazilian started 17 games last season.

Liverpool have splashed the cash on Darwin Nunez, paying an initial £64m that could rise to £85m, per the Athletic. That’s a massive statement of faith in the Uruguayan and it’s clear he’ll play a key role next season.

It seems that Nunez will be the new striker at the club in what’s actually a change under Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool have played almost exclusively with a False 9 who drops deep, essentially as an attacking midfielder. The wingers then cut inside, attacking the space the forward vacates.

Nunez won’t quite do that. He wants to lead the line and push up against defenders as a more traditional striker. As his former manager, Guti, explained this week, linking with midfield is an area he must improve.

This is a departure from the ‘norm’, then, and it’s one that could leave Liverpool reliant on Roberto Firmino.

Liverpool to rely on Roberto Firmino

Now, we think Liverpool will adapt to Nunez by pushing attacking midfielders more. They’ve got a trio of young playmakers now – something they’ve never really had under Klopp – and that suggests they’ve planned this change for some time.

But they don’t actually know if that will work yet. Certainly, it’ll take time to adjust to a new midfield system and Nunez’s style of play. There may be teething problems and everyone should probably expect them.

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And that’s why it’s nice that Liverpool do have the old plan to fall back on. Klopp can always bring back the False 9 when needed and have the team playing in the way that’s brought so much success over the last few years.

However, that also increases the reliance on Firmino. He’s going to be the only true False 9 next season if Sadio Mané departs as expected. Mané was sensational in the role to end the previous campaign, given Firmino barely played. He only started 17 games thanks to injuries and just not being first-choice.

But Liverpool will need him next time. As they get used to Nunez, Firmino’s ‘insane’ ability in the False 9 role could save them in games. Now they just have to make sure he stays fit.

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