Jurgen Klopp is said to be largely happy with the Liverpool squad he is inheriting, but which players will and won’t fit the German’s philosophy?
With Klopp expected to be confirmed as the new Liverpool manager within the next 48 hours, the expectation is he will bring his tactic of high-tempo ‘gegenpressing’ – pressurising an opponent in numbers as soon as possession is lost – to Anfield.
Both Klopp and Fenway Sports Group believe there is enough quality already within the squad to secure a Champions League place this season.
Mamadou Sakho, Alberto Moreno, Nathaniel Clyne, Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge, Christian Benteke and Danny Ings are named by the Daily Telegraph as players FSG have high hopes for, while Klopp is a known admirer of both Roberto Firmino and Emre Can.
Here, Press Association Sport assesses how each member of the current squad might fit into Klopp’s system.
Fitness, aligned with technical ability, is a key component in Klopp’s system. He wants players to run hard but be able to immediately take advantage of errors such pressing creates. The players who appear best suited to that include: Danny Ings, Christian Benteke, Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, Joe Allen, Nathaniel Clyne, Mamadou Sakho, Alberto Moreno.
WORK TO DO
Technical ability alone will not be enough to survive in a Klopp world where double training sessions are far from infrequent. There are a number of players who may have to up their game, but being of a young age will be an advantage to most: Philippe Coutinho, Divock Origi, Jordon Ibe, Joe Gomez, Adam Lallana, Jordan Rossiter.
It would not be a surprise to see some members of the squad struggle to adapt to new methods. These are likely to be the the less technical players who have age or physicality against them: Kolo Toure, Dejan Lovren, Lucas, Martin Skrtel.
Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group believe Klopp will get more out of the existing squad than Brendan Rodgers did and early suggestions are the German is happy to work with the players he will inherit.
However, he will inevitably need some new additions during his first year in charge and it would be no surprise to see him return to former club Borussia Dortmund to cherry-pick those who served him well in the past.
Liverpool could do with upgrades throughout their spine, such as: Roman Weidenfeller (goalkeeper), Neven Subotic (centre-back), Sven Bender (defensive midfielder). The likes of midfielders Ilkay Gundogan and, in particular, Marco Reus may still be out of reach, though.
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