With Salah and Mane set to depart mid-season for the Africa Cup of Nations in January, and Firmino now sidelined with a hamstring injury, Liverpool are well-aware they could be captured brief in attack if theyre not careful. READ MORE: Liverpool may have made another Virgil van Dijk transfer mistake on due date day Not taken with the potential centre-back replacements on deal, Klopp decided to utilise Fabinho as his fourth-choice centre-back only to see Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all struck down by season-ending injuries. Required to turn to Jordan Henderson as emergency situation cover, just for both the Liverpool captain and Fabinho to suffer injury lay-offs of their own, Klopp turned to youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams while adding Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies to his ranks on January transfer due date day. It would be virtually impossible to see Liverpool left without three of their first-choice 4 attacking choices for the majority of last season despite last years injury scars. Get all the newest Liverpool breaking news, team news, transfer rumours, injury updates plus analysis of whats next for the Reds.
Its simple to forget Liverpool actually presently boast more assaulting options than they did for the 2nd half of the season. Xherdan Shaqiri might have departed for Lyon in a ₤ 9.5 m relocation, however the returns of Takumi Minamino and Harvey Elliott make sure Jurgen Klopp still have lots of alternatives behind his first-choice quartet of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota. Yet that will not stop advocates from feeling aggrieved that the Reds stopped working to boost their attacking ranks this summertime, particularly when seeing Manchester United, Man City and Chelsea reinforce with the arrivals of Jadon Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jack Grealish and Romelu Lukaku. With Salah and Mane set to depart mid-season for the Africa Cup of Nations in January, and Firmino now sidelined with a hamstring injury, Liverpool are well-aware they might be captured brief in attack if theyre not cautious. As such, their decision not to boost their front line is something of a computed gamble, however with Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also amongst their forward options, a minimum of its not as huge a threat as their decision not to replace Dejan Lovren last summer following his ₤ 11m transfer to Zenit St. Petersburg. CHECKED OUT MORE: Liverpool may have made another Virgil van Dijk transfer mistake on due date day Not taken with the potential centre-back replacements available, Klopp decided to utilise Fabinho as his fourth-choice centre-back just to see Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all struck down by season-ending injuries. Forced to turn to Jordan Henderson as emergency situation cover, just for both the Liverpool captain and Fabinho to suffer injury lay-offs of their own, Klopp relied on children Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams while including Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies to his ranks on January transfer deadline day. Such a situation was far from ideal and, quite rightly, triggered the Reds to move rapidly to sign Ibrahima Konate in a ₤ 36m move from RB Leipzig back in May to ensure they avoid a repeat. Are they taking a similar threat and not learning from a past mistake by not reinforcing their attacking ranks this summer season? Well it depends on your viewpoint. There is no escaping there is a drop off in the qualities of Salah, Mane, Firmino and Jota compared to an Origi or Minamino, and the concern remains how can Klopps males find a method to win when the previous four arent scoring. That alone was demonstrated in their 1-1 draw against 10-man Chelsea on Saturday, as Minamino and Oxlade-Chamberlain were left unused despite the Reds search for a later winner. It would be practically impossible to see Liverpool left without three of their first-choice 4 assaulting options for the majority of last season regardless of last years injury scars. Yes, enigma remain over Origi and Minaminos Anfield futures, Salah, Mane and Firmino are all pushing 30 and Oxlade-Chamberlain has actually restricted experience at Anfield as a false 9 or outwide. When you think about the Senegalese and Brazilians battles last year as the Reds struggled for objectives at times, and the injury record of the likes of the England global, you can comprehend supporter issue. Even with that approaching danger of the Africa Cup of Nations in January, Liverpools stance is a calculated gamble they can really afford to make in the brief term. While Firmino may set to be sidelined for the next couple of weeks, his injury record at Anfield together with Mane and Salah is 2nd to none, while the previous 2 have actually already shown a greater sharpness in front of objective than they showcased last season. In other places, Anfield experts think Minamino will have benefited from a very first complete pre-season with the club, having left on loan for Southampton in January, and firmly insist Oxlade-Chamberlain has impressed in training because attacking function. Meanwhile, Elliott has grown throughout pre-season and throughout the developmental weeks of the campaign following his season on loan at Blackburn Rovers last year, even if he is so far being made use of in midfield. There is absolutely nothing stopping Liverpool from getting across January and reassessing their position prior to Salah and Manes Africa Cup of Nations departure. In the meantime, they can continue to weigh up Firminos injury lay-off and the viability of the similarity Minamino, Oxlade-Chamberlain or Elliott as cover in such roles.
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If they suffer further injuries, as they did defensively last season, they will react. If Minamino is once again not managed enough game-time, Oxlade-Chamberlains injury concerns of the previous continue or Elliott ends up to not be quite all set for a full season of regular top-flight football, the Reds can alter their transfer stance appropriately. Until then, they have lots of alternatives in reserve, and while they dont all boast the exact same record in front of goal as Salah, Klopp will have full faith that the team he currently has at his disposal can once again challenge for Premier League and Champions League magnificence.
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