Liverpool midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai has the skills to be a defensive midfielder in the mould of Andrea Pirlo.
Szoboszlai was forced to play a slightly deeper role for Liverpool on Saturday, after Alexis Mac Allister was sent off. And although the 22-year-old joked about Jurgen Klopp ‘screaming’ at him from the side-lines, he did just fine there.
For Hungarian national team manager Marco Rossi though, this wasn’t a surprise. Speaking to liverpool.com about his star player and captain, Rossi drew on comparisons with one of the modern greats of the game.
” I know he said that he doesn’t like too much to play in this position. But I really think that in the future, he could be a fantastic number six,” said the Italian.
“He has all the skills to be in this position, like [Andrea] Pirlo was, just to give an example. I think Pirlo was the best in this position in the last 15 years, and Dominik has really good skills to play in this position.”
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Rossi’s assistant, Cosimo Inguscio, even claimed that Szoboszlai had done that very job for Hungary previously.
“When we played against Italy in Cesena in the Nations League, in the last 20 minutes of the match, he played as a number six,” says Inguscio, through Rossi’s translation. “So sometimes it could happen, when you want to add an extra forward on cycles.”
Szoboszlai draws Pirlo comparison
First things first, there’s no way that Szoboszlai has been brought to Liverpool to play defensive midfield. There’s simply no way.
The Reds no.8 may be an all-round midfielder, but this would be a waste of his talents. Pure and simple.
Perhaps a kind of Pirlo role might be somewhat palatable. The legendary World Cup winner was not exactly a typical defensive midfielder after all.
But by and large, Szoboszlai is a much more dynamic player than Pirlo was. The great Italian master is synonymous with cerebral football; with conducting play by a caress of his boot and a flick of his hair.
Liverpool’s new man doesn’t initially appear to be that kind of player, although he does potentially have a bit of it in his locker.
Nevertheless, we hope that we don’t have to see him playing the deep-lying role all too often. The signing of Wataru Endo should help with that, while players such as Cheick Doucoure continue to be mentioned, too.
So, although we won’t be complaining if Szoboszlai ends up mimicking Pirlo, we’d prefer he tried to emulate the man who’s famous number he adorns on his shirt at Liverpool instead. Gerrard was always better anyway…