In pre-season, Jurgen Klopp could launch three significant Liverpool experiments.
For coaches, pre-season can be a peculiar time; results aren’t as essential as they previously were, and the focus is instead on fitness, performances, and strategies in preparation for the upcoming season.
The nature of pre-season and friendly matches provides coaches with a platform to try new ideas, which frequently involve positional moves for specific players or new team formations.
Jurgen Klopp used the time to transform Adam Lallana into a no.6, with the England international operating as a deeper presence between Liverpool’s defense and midfield, and he continued to do so once the season began.
Liverpool’s pre-season began this week in Austria, so which players could be involved in the German’s tactical experiments?
During pre-season, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has shown he can play farther forward, with Roberto Firmino’s central role becoming an option for the former Arsenal man.
Despite this, Oxlade-Chamberlain appears to possess the necessary characteristics to serve as an attack-minded right-back in the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Before being sold by Arsenal, Arsene Wenger utilized the 27-year-old as a wing-back, and Antonio Conte wanted him to join Chelsea to play as a wing-back in his system.
Given his one-on-one skill, ball-carrying ability, and inclination to excel when given space to move into, Oxlade-Chamberlain has some redeeming qualities. He’s direct both with and without the ball, and he’s quick enough to cover the territory Klopp demands as a full-back.
When Alexander-Arnold isn’t available, Neco Williams and James Milner have regularly stepped in, but neither of them possesses Alexander-offensive Arnold’s threat, and Oxlade-Chamberlain would certainly reduce that decline.
Curtis Jones has already played as a wide forward for Liverpool as a substitute and for the club’s academy sides, but Klopp may put him to the test more frequently.
Since his elevation to Liverpool’s first squad, he’s shown that his skill set is naturally offensive, and he’s chipped in with a few goals; he’s technical, aggressive, and appears at ease in the final third.
Klopp might employ the Scouse midfielder in the same way Pep Guardiola has used Phil Foden at times, given his young age of just 20 years old.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has mentioned that he sees him as a forward. “The summary has come to an end.”