Press "Enter" to skip to content

Klopp and Núñez could be about unleash the perfect playmaker at Liverpool

[ad_1]

Times are changing at Anfield. Change is inevitable in every walk of life and football is no exception. But the speed with which things are shifting at the club is somewhat unprecedented.

Less than a month ago, Sadio Mané looked far from likely to leave the club for pastures new, but in the space of a few weeks, he is already a Bayern Munich player. His replacement, Darwin Núñez, could become Liverpool‘s record transfer of all time.

In the boardroom, Julian Ward has succeeded Michael Edwards as the club’s sporting director, and Ward has deployed a clear strategy in trying to rejuvenate the squad. His oldest signing was Núñez, who is only 23 years of age. Meanwhile, Calvin Ramsay is just 18 and Fábio Carvalho is still only 19.

There is a clear step towards a new evolution at the club,a sort of metamorphosis to take Jürgen Klopp‘s men to the next stage of their development.

The victims of this change will likely be the old guard, who have served the club well, but to whom the ravages of time will ultimately catch up.

READ MORE: Liverpool could return for perfect Jürgen Klopp midfielder as FSG investors await ratification

READ MORE: Jürgen Klopp already identified ‘next Sadio Mané’ as Liverpool could return for £18m forward

Roberto Firmino is a player who is currently sitting on that precipitous edge. With a year left on his contract, and set to turn 31 later this year, Liverpool may have already glimpsed the beginning of his decline with numerous niggling injuries last season.

Firmino suffered four different injuries last campaign, which saw him miss a whopping 24 games for the club. Whether this will be the trend from now remains to be seen. Liverpool will be hoping it’s merely an anomaly in an otherwise relatively injury-free career. But the club’s reluctance to extend his deal given the circumstances is understandable.

If the decision was made purely on his performances on the pitch, Julian Ward would undoubtedly have no doubts about keeping Firmino around. Last season, the Brazilian still averaged 0.84 goal contributions per 90 for the club — almost a goal contribution every game.

This time around, without Mané, the 30-year-old could have even more responsibility as one of the experienced figureheads in the Liverpool attack. Given the Senegalese’s departure, Klopp could also play Firmino is a new role, one which he will be familiar with from his Hoffenheim days.

The arrival of a more traditional number nine in Núñez has increased the likelihood of Klopp reverting back to his 4-2-3-1 formation from his Borussia Dortmund days at Anfield, and if he does, Firmino would be a player perfectly suited to playing the number 10 role just behind the forward.

Towards the end of last season, Klopp often brought him on as an advanced midfielder in a four-man attack, and the Liverpool boss clearly likes Firmino in that role. His assets are best suited to a position like that, with his ability to bring creativity and link-up play coming to the fore.

If he can somehow escape his injury problems and maintain his goal-scoring per 90 figures from last season, then Klopp may just squeeze the best out of Firmino in a Liverpool shirt.



[ad_2]