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Possible winners and losers: Mohamed Salah and two others could lose out in Jurgen Klopp’s new 4-2-3-1 Liverpool formation

Possible winners and losers: Mohamed Salah and two others could lose out in Jurgen Klopp’s new 4-2-3-1 Liverpool formation

Throughout his time at Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp has preferred a 4-3-3 formation. 

The Reds have formed a deep bond with the system, having utilised it to win every available piece of silverware in recent years.

The German coach is currently assembling a new-look squad, with Sadio Mane joining Bayern Munich this summer. 

Following Liverpool’s recent transfer activity, much of the speculation for next season is around the possibility of a 4-2-3-1 formation at Anfield.

With Klopp considering a formation change in the coming months, which players stand to benefit and which stand to lose?

Let’s take a look at the squad’s possible winners and losers if 4-2-3-1 becomes the first-choice formation.


Fabio Carvalho

Fabio Carvalho is one of the obvious winners. 

The Portuguese-born kid, who recently agreed to join from Fulham, is looking to make an impression at Anfield next season.

Carvalho shone as a no.10 for ex-Everton manager Marco Silva at Craven Cottage last season.

Liverpool don’t usually play with a no.10, but with a 4-2-3-1 formation, a position would open up for the teenager.

Although he can play as a no.8 and a wide forward, the Reds bought him because of his performances as a no.10, and a 4-2-3-1 formation would allow him to remain that position.

Ibrahima Konate

Ibrahima Konate is another winner. 

Last season, the French center-back competed with Joel Matip for a starting berth in the team, but Klopp frequently chose the more experienced guy.

However, because of how 4-2-3-1 works tactically, Konate may be the best option.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson would receive less support on the flanks from their midfield counterparts because the system only used two central midfielders rather than three.

As a result, Klopp’s centre defenders would naturally face more one-on-one clashes with opponents, and Konate, more than Matip, has proven to be a master at controlling those scenarios.

Darwin Nunez

Klopp has signed Darwin Nunez, a striker who is more traditional in style than others he has previously worked with on Merseyside.

Nunez, who is 6-foot-2 and has proven to be a clinical poacher when given opportunities to convert, would benefit from sticking in dangerous zones and focusing his concentration on hitting the net.

The 4-2-3-1 formation would allow him to do just that, because the no.10 behind him would be the player dropping into deeper areas, allowing Nunez to stay in the penalty box to complete moves.


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, on the other hand, may be a loser. 

When the Englishman plays, he is usually used as a no.8 who uses his energy and physical abilities to get up and down the pitch at a high level.

The 4-2-3-1 formation would eliminate his usual role as a box-to-box player, as the midfielders would be required to retain their positions in deeper areas rather than getting forward.

Oxlade-  Chamberlain’s  favoured role would eventually vanish within the limits of 4-2-3-1, and he could struggle to make a mark in comparison to his offensive teammates higher up the field.

Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah might be the next player to  lose out.

Despite the fact that he is nearly certain to play practically every week, the system would be less adapted to his skill set.

If the team’s formation was 4-2-3-1, the Egyptian would spend more time on the flanks than usual. 

Salah would be obliged to make fewer inside runs, and with Nunez leading the team’s line, he would be unlikely to score as many goals as he did with Roberto Firmino as his partner.

The 30-year-old would not struggle in any way – he played 4-2-3-1 at AS Roma – but it is logical to think he would not be in the spotlight as much.

Edin Dzeko, not Salah, scored every week in Rome.

Overall, with only one year left on his contract, it may be in Klopp’s best interests to abandon a strategy that relies on Salah’s performance.

Curtis Jones

Curtis Jones is a footballer who is currently finding out his place under Klopp. 

The Liverpool academy graduate possesses an intriguing skill set that appears to be fluid.

Jones isn’t nearly a forward, but he can appear too offensive at times to be a central midfielder. 

As a no.8, Klopp has allowed Jones to focus on the last third while still delivering enough on defence to be a benefit for the squad.

However, similar to Oxlade-Chamberlain, a 4-2-3-1 formation would not have such a role, forcing Jones to adapt.

He does not appear to be suited to one of the holding duties, leaving him with either the no.10 position or the left flank, which appears to be predominantly held by Luis Diaz.

The 21-year-old is still young enough to develop, but if Liverpool adopts a 4-2-3-1 formation, his most effective place in the club will be uncertain.


Possible winners and losers: Mohamed Salah and two others could lose out in Jurgen Klopp’s new 4-2-3-1 Liverpool formation

Possible winners and losers: Mohamed Salah and two others could lose out in Jurgen Klopp’s new 4-2-3-1 Liverpool formation

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