This is the latest Liverpool news today from Newsnow Liverpool as the Reds explore the transfer market for a left-footed defender, Jürgen Klopp will closely assess Nayef Aguerd of West Ham United at Anfield this weekend.
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For the past five months, Andy Robertson, typically known for his attacking prowess, has adopted a more reserved role for Liverpool. In April, Jürgen Klopp, influenced by his assistant Pep Lijnders, decided to make adjustments to his favoured 4-3-3 system. Lijnders proposed a shift for Trent Alexander-Arnold, transforming him into an inverted full-back.
Liverpool were facing challenges with their results at that time, prompting Klopp to explore tactical changes. Alexander-Arnold’s new role saw him occasionally step into a makeshift midfield position when Liverpool had possession, affecting Robertson’s role.
The captain of Scotland received instructions to move inside, forming a part of a back three alongside Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté. This change has seen Robertson perform admirably in this new defensive role, but it’s clear that his preference lies in venturing forward to create scoring opportunities in the final third.
Robertson’s impressive record speaks for itself; he stands among just three defenders in Premier League history with over 50 assists to his name, demonstrating his natural inclination towards attacking play. However, within Klopp’s revised structure, Robertson primarily operates as a defender.
As quoted by Liverpool Echo, Klopp talked about the tactical shift last season stating: “Of course [the 3-2-5] changed his role slightly. That’s clear. We cannot have one full-back in the center of the field and the other constantly high up on the left side. That’s difficult, so Robbo has to judge the situations when he can be involved and when he can overlap.”
The change in tactics has greatly benefited Liverpool, leading them to an impressive 17-match unbeaten streak across all competitions. In terms of Andrew Robertson’s role, he has often adopted a deeper position, prioritizing defensive duties over his usual attacking flair.
Interestingly, Manchester City and Arsenal have also embraced a similar tactical approach in the past year. However, unlike Liverpool’s use of an offensive player like Robertson as a wide center-back, Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta have opted for more defensively-oriented players, Nathan Aké and Ben White, respectively.
Last season, these English sides dominated the Premier League, with Aké and White playing pivotal roles. During the summer transfer window, Guardiola secured Joško Gvardiol as another option for the position, while Arteta brought in Jurriën Timber.
Liverpool, on the other hand, prioritised bolstering their midfield, signing four players. Jurgen Klopp’s decision to focus on midfield left the question of whether he will seek a replacement for Robertson in 2024, someone better suited to the role.
Nayef Aguerd Could be the Ideal Joël Matip Replacement
In an upcoming match against West Ham United, Liverpool will face Nayef Aguerd, who is set to start for David Moyes. Aguerd, a left-footed defender like Robertson, appears to possess the qualities necessary for Klopp’s hybrid role. Liverpool need a player who can switch between center-back and left-back as needed.
Although Aguerd, at 27, is slightly older than Klopp’s usual targets, he has garnered attention as a potential addition to Liverpool in the past. Having proven himself in the Premier League over the past year, he could serve as a ideal replacement for Joël Matip, who is likely to depart when his contract expires.
This weekend, Aguerd faces a significant test against the likes of Mohamed Salah and Darwin Núñez. If he impresses Klopp, he may find himself joining Liverpool’s ranks in the near future.