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Liverpool won’t get the best out of Mo Salah as a lone striker

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Liverpool

Liverpool won’t get the best out of Mo Salah as a lone striker

Jurgen Klopp has switched to a 4-2-3-1 for much of this season and while it only represents a subtle change in role for Mo Salah, it can have a bigger impact on his overall effectiveness.

Liverpool’s attack functioned so well last season but Jurgen Klopp’s response to a faltering start this season has been to switch up the shape of his forward line.

Xherdan Shaqiri was brought in largely as backup but has forced his way into the Reds’ first choice team, muscling in on the right of their new 4-2-3-1 system.

There are some benefits to the switch; it’s new-boy Fabinho’s favoured system, it gets another creative player on the pitch and theoretically prevents Liverpool’s attack becoming predictable.

But there have also been plenty of downsides; attacking fluency is still lacking, Roberto Firmino has struggled and Mo Salah’s role has been altered.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Salah played as a lone striker against Everton yesterday, and while he was largely operating from central areas last season, he is far more potent when he is arriving into the box, rather than starting from there.

 

Last term, Firmino’s selfless running created gaps for Salah to burst into, but fielding him as a lone striker sees him swamped by two defenders; it’s simply not going to produce his best form.

If Klopp is insistent on starting Shaqiri, it should be in a number 10 role and keeping Liverpool’s other forwards in their roles from last season.

But a return to 4-3-3 with more midfield energy and stability may also help Salah, as long as he returns to the right.

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NCTJ trained journalist, focusing mainly on a digital football audience.

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