How will Klopp’s new signings fit into the tactical gameplan?

Jürgen Klopp has made three signings during the current transfer window to strengthen his squad for the upcoming season 2017-18. The names are Andrew Robertson, Dominic Solanke, and Mohamed Salah.

In this article, I’m going to focus my attention on Robertson and Salah to explain what they can offer to the team and how they can fit into Klopp’s style of play and philosophy.

ANDREW ROBERTSON

Born in Scotland, the 23-year-old left footed defender joined Liverpool after playing three seasons at relegated Hull City, where he played 33 matches during the 2016-17 Premier League season.

The Reds left-back position was occupied by James Milner during the majority of the matches last season, playing well but he is not a natural full back, so in my opinion, Klopp needed to urgently fill this role.

One of the crucial points in Klopp’s tactical plan with a 4-3-3 formation is that full back’s need to push high and provide width to the Reds attacking plays which was something that Liverpool lacked during some matches last season, especially with Milner at left-back.

Robertson is a quick player who joins the attack constantly, supporting his team mates and providing width to his team’s attacks. He’s a player who is capable of starting the attack by recovering possession and finish the play at the other end of the pitch.

Robertson has good spatial awareness and likes to break quickly when he has space in front of him. He can be unpredictable because he mixes well which route he is going to take, sometimes driving into the wide channel to cross with his left foot but also cutting inside to find a team mate to link up the play, as you will see in the following video where it shows his forward runs and different options he provides to the team.

The Scottish left-back also has good distribution, using long and short passes to find team mates in the channels and help the team to break the opposition lines. In the following video, you can watch a brief summary of different passes he is capable of delivering.

When defending, Robertson’s strengths are good reading of the game which means he intercepts many passes, good defending on 1v1 situations where he’s a very patient defender who stays on his feet waiting for the right time to win the ball or delay the attack into a point where he’s going to receive support for his teammates to regain possession. You’ll see all these attributes in the following video where you will also notice that he’s a player who secures possession after winning the ball back for his team.

MOHAMED SALAH

Born in Egypt in 1992, the left footed attacker, joined the Reds after spending the last two seasons playing at AS Roma where he had a total of 83 appearances, scoring 34 goals in all competitions.

He’s a player who normally plays as a winger on the right side but can also play in the middle of the attack, which will give more attacking options to Klopp’s arsenal. He has great acceleration and pace, important attributes to fit into Liverpool’s style of play. His acceleration will provide Liverpool a dangerous counter attacking tool, and in the following footage, you will see how quick he is, creating chances starting his runs on his own half of the pitch.

Salah is not only pace and acceleration, the Egyptian has great spatial awareness, finding team mates in space to assist or create combination plays which normally end up in goals or clear chances. Very good in 1v1 or 1v2 situations, especially if receiving with space. In the next video, you can watch how Salah links up the plays.

Mohamed Salah will bring goals into the Liverpool attack, he scored 19 goals in 41 matches (all competitions) he played for AS Roma during the 2016-17 season, sit back and enjoy some of the last goals scored by him in the next footage.

One of Klopp’s commandments is counter pressing whereby he requires players with great work rate, constant concentration, and high intensity to recover possession as quick as possible and as high on the pitch as possible.

Salah is a player who works really hard in defending as well, not only by pressing the opposition back line to force mistakes and regain possession but also supporting his teammates on their defensive third as you will watch in the next video.

CONCLUSION

Andrew Robertson and Mohamed Salah are great signings for the Reds due to their attacking and defending attributes. Both players will strengthen the squad and Klopp will have more options for a season which will is long overdue because of the number of matches between Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.

The transfer window will be open until the 31st of August and we will have to wait and witness if Klopp decides to bring more players to deepen the squad in order to win titles.