Liverpool has already taken two initiatives to address their midfield issue, but a third one follow shortly. | soccer4u
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Liverpool has already taken two initiatives to address their midfield issue, but a third one follow shortly.

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Jurgen Klopp’s midfield for the Reds has long been a topic of discussion, but a pair of contract decisions may give us a glimpse of what the German manager wants moving ahead.

Jurgen Klopp's midfield for the Reds has long been a topic of discussion, but a pair of contract decisions may give us a glimpse of what the German

Is the midfield for Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp really so problematic? Many people would like you to think it is.

For years, players in the center of the German team have frequently had their performances criticized since they are praised for what they can accomplish rather than what they can’t.

And that can be a lot, at least when the team is working well.

The midfield unit’s ability to plod along diligently and support the attacking and creative talents in front of them has been the foundation of all of the Reds’ recent victories.

Since the departure of Philippe Coutinho in January 2018, the Reds’ attacking danger has come from the wings, with the fullbacks frequently supplying unstoppable inventiveness and the wide forwards frequently being just unstoppable. The most innovative player in the center would be Roberto Firmino, who frequently played in the traditional No. 8 or No. 10 position despite having No. 9 on him.

This has frequently resulted in some level of skepticism against the players who occupy the central areas, players who, at least on the surface, are frequently not given much credit. Most people would simply dismiss them as footsoldiers in Klopp’s side, mindless runners who barely make an effort to catch the eye.

And there is some validity to that

It is difficult to recall too many all-action, game-winning, eye-catching performances from a central midfielder in Klopp’s seven years on Merseyside, the kind of play that a generation of Liverpool supporters grew up witnessing almost weekly from Steven Gerrard.

Gini Wijnaldum scored twice in the comeback victory over Barcelona, despite the fact that the Dutchman sat on the sidelines for the majority of the first half.

After that, though, not much else happens, save for a few memorable moments and outstanding goals from players like Emre Can, Naby Keita, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the latter of whom contributed more to the Premier League title victory than many would care to recall.

Though Klopp’s midfielders typically have a more subtle impact, none of the recent advancements and successes would have been possible without the numerous, exceptional efforts of players like Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Wijnaldum himself, and prior to that, Adam Lallana.

Even though the midfielders themselves don’t shine on it, the effort and drive they would put into games frequently set the stage for Liverpool.

But if the purchase of Thiago Alcantara in the summer of 2020 signaled a change in direction, one where style may occasionally take precedence over steel, what Klopp is constructing for the future appears to be seeing it adapt once again.

Harvey Elliott, a young player who you assume more people would already be enthused about if it weren’t for his tragic injury last season, and Stefan Bajcetic, who emerged as the club’s unexpected preseason star, both received new contracts this week at Anfield.

Even though the midfielders themselves don’t shine on it, the effort and drive they would put into games frequently set the stage for Liverpool.

But if the purchase of Thiago Alcantara in the summer of 2020 signaled a change in direction, one where style may occasionally take precedence over steel, what Klopp is constructing for the future appears to be seeing it adapt once again.

This week at Anfield, new contracts were given to Stefan Bajcetic, who unexpectedly emerged as the club’s preseason star, and Harvey Elliott, a young prospect who you feel more people would already be thrilled about if it weren’t for his terrible injury last season.

Although the deep-lying Bajcetic, who is only 17 years old and still has plenty of time on his hands, is unlikely to play more than a few minutes for Liverpool’s first team this season, it is already possible to envision his role as one of Klopp’s facilitators, albeit in a slightly different capacity. The young Spaniard should aim for Fabinho and Thiago together, if that isn’t too lofty of an objective.

But Elliott, who is two years Bajcetic’s senior, has very much in ‘impact now’ mode with his new contract, as he demonstrated last weekend at Fulham, where his second-half appearance cheered up his lethargic side just as much as Darwin Nunez’s arrival did.

Elliott, who is positioned on the right side of the midfield three, has already developed a fantastic rapport with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah. Their understanding isn’t quite on the same level as that of Henderson’s yet, but then again, no one’s is.

Contrarily, even if Thiago’s injury was what forced Elliott into the field last weekend, he might suddenly find that the Spaniard’s ailment has a negative impact on his immediate chances.

When Thiago is out, Klopp will probably want Fabinho and Henderson in his squad because his captain is much more effective playing on the right side of the midfield than the left.

Due to Klopp’s ability to consider several choices, this makes the left selection even more intriguing.

If he followed form, Milner would be deserving of the jersey; however, if he followed reputation, Keita should likely wear it. Curtis Jones and Oxlade-Chamberlain would also like to be considered, but they are unable to do so due to injuries. What about Fabio Carvalho? It might be worth a shot since the young player is capable of playing there and prefers attacking from the left.

Klopp will undoubtedly do something fascinating, but after this week’s two pointers to his potential future midfield, a thrilling third might allay any concerns about the start of the season.

The manager’s midfield may soon be about to demonstrate that this is a Liverpool team that is developing.

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