Certain clues point to the upcoming season featuring the most attacking Liverpool team ever. Jurgen Klopp might start something special.
We’ll certainly see a different Liverpool this season – that’s just inevitable after Sadio Mané left the club. He’s been a fundamental part of the Reds’ system under Jurgen Klopp and he’s virtually irreplaceable.
Luis Diaz looks like a phenomenon on the left flank in his stead but is yet to show he can offer a similar goal return. Now, some may point out that Mané actually played as a centre-forward towards the business end of last season. He operated as a False 9, essentially covering the role that Roberto Firmino plays but with more pace and goal-threat.
And so the most interesting thing about this summer is that Liverpool actually replaced Mané’s role with Darwin Nunez. The Uruguayan is a completely different type of player – someone far more likely to lead the line and operate in the than drop deep as a False 9.
Why did Jurgen Klopp make that decision, then? Losing the False 9 – a hallmark of this great Liverpool side – creates changes throughout the team and the Reds cannot play the same way with Nunez up top.
We think it’s just one clue that Liverpool are moving towards their most attacking team of all-time. That’s right – we might see even more goals next season.
The most attacking Liverpool team ever
So clue no.1 is that Nunez will operate as a traditional striker. He’ll want the goals for himself, meaning the centre-forward for Liverpool will be more direct and attacking next season.
As a result, that link between midfield and attack is lost. Mané and Firmino have typically provided that, dropping deep to pick up the ball and move Liverpool between the lines.
But if the striker won’t do that, it must come from midfield. That means Liverpool need to make their midfield more attacking, too, with players who can push forward between the lines themselves, rather than sit back.
Klopp is moving Liverpool in that direction, too. All of their young midfielders fit that description – Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and now Fabio Carvalho. They’re all far more attacking than the likes of Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum.
Another clue that this is the plan is that Liverpool reportedly tried to sign Aurélien Tchouaméni. That one confused us a little as the Reds already have a defensive midfielder in Fabinho. Unless, of course, the club wanted extra protection as they planned to push other midfielders higher than ever.
And so with a more attacking centre-forward, at least one attacking-midfielder and the most attacking full-backs around, this could become an incredibly exciting Liverpool team. It’s one that dominates possession, has direct players all over the pitch and tries to hurt teams from everywhere.
Even under Klopp, with teams that score for fun, we haven’t seen anything quite like this. It’s really looking like the most attacking Liverpool team ever.