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REPORT ❗ Liverpool must adopt Manchester United blueprint as Jürgen Klopp can deploy Thiago fix

Liverpool produced a shocking display against Brighton, with Thiago’s performance among the most jarring. Jürgen Klopp must look to Manchester United for a fix.


Liverpool’s success with the 4-3-3 has been a hallmark of Jürgen Klopp’s tenure since he arrived at the club in 2015. After more than seven years, amid inevitable transition that often sees the success of tactics fluctuate, he may now be forced to use it less often as the Reds’ struggles continue.


How successful a formation is will always depend on the players available. Liverpool’s current injury crisis in the forward line has seen the link between the midfield and attack become more disjointed with every game. With Champions League qualification slipping from the Reds’ grasp, Klopp may need to revert to a formation that he has enjoyed success with in previous matches — and which a rival is currently modeling.


And the manager has the ideal players to be able to make the transition as he looks to create a side that is harder to break down. Reluctantly, Liverpool may have to take a leaf out of the recent Manchester United playbook.


It is, perhaps, an obvious change that should have been made earlier. Klopp’s side has historically been known for looking to outscore opponents in periods where the defense has struggled, but with a depleted forward line, it hasn’t been able to do that this season.


That hasn’t always been without positive numbers in terms of chance creation, with Darwin Núñez still moving towards his best form, but until Liverpool’s attackers recapture their lethal touch in front of goal, the best chance of success could be to focus on a rigid structure. All too often in recent games, Liverpool has conceded through lapses of concentration, though the defense hasn’t been helped by a lack of aggression in midfield.


Manchester United has enjoyed an upturn in form after an initial difficult spell under Erik ten Hag. A win over Manchester City shows the Red Devils are now genuine contenders in the title race, and firm favorites for a top four berth, despite facing similar struggles to Liverpool in their 4-0 defeat against Brentford on the opening day of the season.


And it’s a blueprint that would suit Klopp’s side, with the ability to deploy either Cody Gakpo or Roberto Firmino in the number 10 position, while Núñez could play the role of a target man inside the box, as well as spearheading counter-attacks.


Fabinho and Thiago Alcântara, who both played a key role in Liverpool’s resurgence in a difficult 2020-21 campaign, may also benefit from having players closer to them — in addition to the advantage of Thiago having experience in the 4-2-3-1 during his time with Bayern Munich.


A new system won’t completely solve all of Klopp’s problems, but it could steady the ship until key members of the squad return. Liverpool, now almost halfway through the Premier League season, may feel underwhelmed after the excitement that followed the acquisition of Núñez, but there are still 60 points to play for — as well as upcoming ties in the FA Cup and Champions League. The season is far from a write-off, but key players like Thiago need to be harnessed effectively to turn things around; sad as it is, Manchester United may have the answers.




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