Liverpool desperate to expand their midfield options for next season despite abandoning race to sign Borussia Dortmund and England sensation Jude Bellingham
Liverpool are keeping a close eye on Red Bull Salzburg star Luka Sucic as they desperately seek midfield signings ahead of next season.
Jurgen Klopp intends to stage a spectacular rebuild in the middle of the park this summer after a terrible campaign at Anfield. The German is struggling to create a cohesive midfield trio – a problem that will only get worse in a few months.
Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s contracts all expire at the end of the season, while Brazil midfielder Arthur Melo is set to return to Juventus after a shock loan spell at Merseyside. Jude Bellingham was thought to be a potential signing, but the Reds recently pulled out of the race for the England star after worries about the price they would have to pay for his
This led them to look for significantly cheaper alternatives. The Salzburg youngster could be one of them
The Reds have been linked with a move by the Croatian in the past, while Sky Sports suggest the 20-year-old is currently under evaluation pending a possible attack. Sucic began his career with Austrian side Liefering before moving to Salzburg in the summer of 2020.
Since then he has made just under 100 appearances for the team, winning two league titles and two Austrian Cups. The midfielder also managed to make four caps for Croatia’s senior side.
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Sucic has previously shared his views on speculation over his future and hinted that a move could be on the cards, especially given Salzburg’s tendency to sell their best players for a hefty fee.
“I also know that’s how things go here, every summer there were player sales. I assume the next summer transfer window will be the same or similar.”
“I really don’t know if my name will be found in that context, and it doesn’t bother me either. Let it be as it will be. I’m open to anything, I can play in any league, but my style of play is more suited to the Spain”.
Sucic still has more than two years on his contract with Austria, while previous reports suggest Salzburg have levied an asking price of €20m on him.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s midfield role vs. Arsenal explaind – what is an ‘inverted full-back’?
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s role against Arsenal was certainly a talking point, with the right-back being used in midfield when inTrent Alexander-Arnold’s midfield role vs. Arsenal explaind – what is an ‘inverted full-back’? possession. Harry McMullen takes a closer look.
Anfield played a big part in the incredible turnaround against Arsenal, spurring Liverpool to stifle their opponents and create golden opportunities to beat the leaders. But it would be unfair to attribute all of this to heart, mind and desire. Jurgen Klopp brilliantly adjusted his tactical setup – and his use of Trent Alexander-Arnold – to give his side the platform they needed.
Out of possession – but not ideas
Both teams’ chips displayed “4-3-3”. However, as we all know, Trent was used as a full-back in this game, moving from his usual right-back position to central midfield alongside Fabinho. In the case of formations such as 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, this is the basis for a number of different formations for each phase of the game (attack, defence, pass to attack and pass to defence).
So from the kickoff and on defense, Trent was still right back. But when he had the ball he was very clear in midfield. Klopp called it the ‘Double Six’.
I saw it clearly when Liverpool were behind. Arsenal used interplay pressure with Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli alongside Liverpool defender Granit Xhaka on the left or Ben White on the right. scrub.
Arsenal did this because they expected Liverpool to have a 2-3-5 formation (or “possession configuration”) in attack. Here, the Reds have two defenders and three midfielders in deeper territory, now secured by the full-backs.
Liverpool have been doing this for years, but they have often left space behind their full-backs for the opposition to exploit. Last season this changed to spreading the centre-backs wide and Fabinho covering the central area. The collapse of the forward press and Fabinho’s shaky form this season has left the area open.
This is why pundits often say that Liverpool has a “soft core”. However, with the return of Trent, Liverpool were put into a 3-2-5 formation, with Andy Robertson retaining his place at centre-back.
Suddenly Liverpool had an extra body at the back – Ibrahima Konate covering the right-back – and they broke Arsenal’s pressing structure. Martinelli wasn’t sure whether to hit Konate and leave Trent open or follow Trent and deliver Konate straight to Salah.
It was a smart strategy with Klopp, given that Salah could play one-on-one with defender Alexandr Zinchenko, who was spending more time in midfield at the time. Unfortunately, Arsenal were also very clever and quickly solved this problem. Zinchenko even lost possession in midfield, pushing Xhaka to Trent and Martinelli to Konate. That left Salah 1v1 with Gabriel a much better 1v1 defender than Zinchenko.
The game was thus a battle of two identical 3-2-5 formations and who could use them better. Given that Arsenal still have two years of experience with this line-up, it makes sense that they lead by two goals.
What has changed? Alisson began to hit the long ball more often as Liverpool moved into second place from the back.
Liverpool’s long possession has declined this season as their midfielders have been far worse at winning the second ball. However, with Trent Fabinho in the back six, Curtis Jones and Jordan Henderson were cleared to play as the number 10 strikers in midfield.
Klopp spoke about how Liverpool were compressed after the game. The midfielders had less space and were able to counter-press. The pair were so tenacious that Arsenal began what Mikel Arteta called a “transitional game” where his team “lost control” so often.
Of course, the Anfield factor allowed Liverpool to make the most of these tactical adjustments. Even the best laid plans can be lost if the energy of the arena does not support them. How did Trent land the role?
There were mixed reactions to what ended up being a mixed performance. The likes of Gary Neville dismissed him immediately and Klopp said Trent “had to get used to it”.
One problem is that Trent is not a strong press player. This is very important when playing doubleheader.
Here is an example from scratch. Trent received the pass as planned, pressed the play with his back and had no choice but to go straight back to Alisson.
However, as the game progressed there were signs that his confidence was growing. Here he does a good impression of Moises Caicedo for his competent passing of the ball.
Trent also got into his favored position a few times in the game, including the late Konate, giving us Kevin De Bruyne. A great piece by Aaron Ramsdale?
— Gunners (@Gunnersc0m) April 10, 2023
Of course, the assist for the equalizer came when it was 1-1 with Zinchenko near the foul line, so the overlap on the right at times is obviously advantageous. A convenient game plan – or a long-term change?
But have they been successful enough to overcome Arsenal’s real problems? Considering I was a Trent Invert-Arnold fan, this worked surprisingly well for me.
Of course, Klopp’s version is much smarter than mine. Placing Andy Robertson (not Fabinho as I suggested) in the back three will allow Liverpool to switch quickly and easily from a 3-2-5 to a 4-4-2. to defend Arsenal’s spell of continuous possession. While this block encourages a compact midfield, the forward press is more flexible and the two forward lines supported by ball players “jump” into the forward press when needed.
If Liverpool pull this off, it’s clear that Trent’s move to midfield has allowed them to be “more compact, high line, close midfield, front three together” and has also created a lot of chances. From a tactical point of view, development is just as important as smart recruiting in activating next season.
Liverpool dealt transfer blow with target ‘desperate to remain in London’
Liverpool have been dealt another blow after it emerged that Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is keen to stay in London.
It was a season to forget for the Reds, who escaped any silverware chance.
Meanwhile, their hopes of qualifying for next year’s Champions League competition appear to have faded and Jurgen Klopp is pining for the summer transfer window.
Among the names linked with a move to Anfield is Kante, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
After Liverpool dropped out of the race to sign Jude Bellingham, Kante would act as a much cheaper alternative and help shore up their fragile midfield. However, according to de Kante’s entourage, the 31-year-old is eager to stay in the capital, putting a serious strain on Liverpool’s transfer plans.
Liverpool dealt Kante a huge blow
Liverpool will go red if Kante is available, says Football Insider.
Though recent comments suggest the French international may be rejecting their advances due to his ‘London ways’.
During an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, Kante’s entourage said: “N’Golo would like to continue his career in London, where he has his habits,” it was explained.
“He He liked working with Antonio Conte, but he was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur”.
Arsenal have also reportedly investigated the midfielder’s availability, but have opted instead to sign Blues team-mate Jorginho. “Arsenal also made a request,” he said. “I think he will extend his contract at Chelsea before going to the Middle East in two or three years.”
Elsewhere, Liverpool have reportedly created a seven-man shortlist which includes Mason Mount, Connor Gallagher and Youri Tielemans as Klopp targets a major overhaul this summer.
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