Worrying Liverpool stat reveals major issue for Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool’s problems are well-documented, but one stat reveals a major issue for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Liverpool’s season has been an uncharacterstically poor to date, as they sit languishing in mid-table. There are plenty of issues to address on the pitch and in the squad but one statistic highlights a particularly glaring one.

The Reds have conceded five goals from counter-attacks this season, which is more than each of the last six seasons, according to a study by The Athletic. The data shifts the focus back to what many consider Liverpool’s biggest problem this term - the midfield.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Jurgen Klopp’s best midfield three for the last few years has been Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Thiago - and that has brought success - as did their previous midfield, which included Georginio Wijnaldum. All three of those current stars are close to, if not over, 30 years old.

Coupled with the emotional and physcial strain of last season’s gruelling 63-game campaign and a short pre-season due to the winter World Cup have left this midfield three off the pace. They have been victims of their own success.

Teams have constantly and consistently won the midfield battle with Liverpool this term and it’s meant their defence, which has been incredibly solid and reliable for the last four years, has received less protection that it once did. One person who has been majorly affected is Fabinho, who’s form as their defensive midfielder has completely fell off.

There’s also the worrying stat that it was also the 12th time this season they’ve conceded first. What’s also changed as a result is the perception of Liverpool; teams aren’t afraid anymore as they know they can target certain areas and get the better of their midfield and their defensive line.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This makes it incredibly difficult to turn the tide, as Klopp doesn’t have any other options and teams know exactly how to play against Liverpool. The fact that he will have to stick with the same players as no midfiedelr came through the door in the January transfer window means their poor form is likely to continue.

Klopp’s current system has brought plenty of success over the years and solutions to the current slump are few and far between. Attempting to use Harvey Elliott, Fabio Carvalho or Naby Keita has brought diminishing returns, as none offer the defensive solidity needed in Klopp’s midfield three. Although it must be said that Elliott has often been a top performer, even at just 18 years old, but his form as a young player is always going to vary.

The solution seems simple - sign multiple midfielders. Whilst this is easier said than done, don’t forget Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both out of contract in the summer and replacing them with energy and industry in midfield is key as Liverpool’s frontline is still packed with talent.

With Jude Bellingham the star target, its clear the focus will be on midfielders this summer, but there are plenty of lower cost options that can improve Liverpool’s midfield.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Klopp knows a rebuild will have to come because of the improvements of Arsenal, Newcastle and Manchester United as well as the spending power of Chelsea and the ever-present threat of Manchester City. Also, you can’t dismiss the likes of Brighton and Tottenham.

The second half of the season could be a matter of damage limitation as they wait for the summer transfer window to open.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.