Adding Diogo Jota gives Jürgen Klopp all manner of tactical flexibility

0
5

Jota’s ability to toggle between positions will allow Jürgen Klopp to use him, and the rest of Liverpool’s frontline starters, in a variety of ways.

Adding Diogo Jota to Liverpool’s front line will give Jürgen Klopp the stylistic and tactical flexibility that he has craved right back to his time in Dortmund.

learned a valuable lesson from the back-end of his Dortmund days — something that ties the recruitment room to his coach’s room. As the magical run was winding down, he knew his side had to evolve. Opponents had adapted to his go-go style; by the end — the peak — Dortmund were veering dangerously close to one-dimensional.

Klopp worked hard to bring stylistic divergence to his Dortmund side, though he was often undercut by losing his stars (Gotze, Lewandowski, Kagawa). His end goal, as noted in the seminal book “Building the Wall”, was to establish a side that could attack with patience or pace, with skill or muscle, depending on the situation.

Liverpool have already adapted under Klopp. They’re more of a possession-oriented side these days than the quick-transition, heavy-metal team they were in Klopp’s early years; the creative burden has shifted out to the flanks; the press is less intensive and more targeted; there are have been year-to-year tweaks to the overall formation and philosophy.

Adding Thiago Alcantara and Jota marks the next stage of evolution. Both bring formational and positional flexibility that will allow Klopp to adapt game-to-game and within a game, which has been the side’s only weakness over the last two seasons.

It will be interesting to see how Klopp navigates his forward line this season. In Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, and Roberto Firmino, he has the most efficient and destructive front-three in Europe. They’re settled. The pieces fit.

Jota will add another dimension. Or, rather, allow Klopp to apply new dimensions. As Dan Morgan noted yesterday, Jota’s statistical output it almost a carbon-copy of Sadio Mané’s final year at Southampton before he moved to Liverpool.

As both Mané and Salah have shown, what they do in their final year at their club before Liverpool doesn’t mean a whole lot about what they will do with Klopp. The player profile — including that output — is what attracts him, but he will have his own vision for the player.

What Jota showed, both with the eye-test and the numbers, is a willingness to run, lethal speed, smart pressing, and nous to know when and where to move in the final third. Other than that, his game is a set of skills that Klopp can look to mold: He doesn’t profile as a false 9, but could creativity become a stronger feature of his game? Will he rotate with Mané and Salah? Could he lead the line?

All of those options are open. At Wolves, Jota split time between playing through the middle and lining up on the left — 38 percent of his minutes were as a central striker; 32 percent as a wide-forward on the left; 8 percent as a number 10.

The old classic and still the go-to. Jota will provide quality depth — an outstanding option off the bench and someone who can spell either of the front-three in stretches.

There are few, if any, like for like replacements for Mané but Jota’s underlying numbers place him closer to Mané on the Salah-Mané spectrum. Jota should slot in comfortably on the left side of Liverpool’s traditional front-three.

It will be interesting to see if Klopp tries Jota on the right in a bid to get Salah some rest. Most likely, he will. Jota’s willingness to run in-behind would help keep a Salah-like threat, the one that often forces defensive lines to sink deeper and thus freeing up room for Firmino and Mané to do damage.

This could easily read or line-up as Jota-Salah-Mané or Jota-Mané-Salah. A free-roaming, position-switching, all-out-pace, Nascar attack. Would Klopp roll out this trio rather than sliding Takumi Minamino into the false 9 spot?

You could format this in different ways, too: A shift to 4-2-3-1 with Mané back over to the right hand side and Firmino tucked in-behind Salah. When Klopp has switched to a 4-2-3-1 in recent years, it’s been with Salah at the tip of the spear and Firmino in the hole. Ordinarily, Klopp finds someone to play on the right (Xherdan Shaqiri, Minamino, Divock Origi et al.) with Mané still on the left. If Jota profiles as someone who can play on the right, Klopp would be able to maintain the fruitful Robertson-Mané relationship. This, as much as any, feels like one that could switch on a possession-by-possession basis: How about Salah and Mané on the wings with Jota leading the line and Firmino in-behind against uber-defensive teams? Fun.

More or less a free-for-all. And more or less what the 4-2-3-1 would look like in actuality: Four smart, technically gifted players capable of taking up space here, there and everywhere. Klopp toggled to what was, in essence, a 4-2-2-2 against Arsenal in the Community Shield. It was tantamount to the old Brazilian model: We will have two players to sit and shield the defence, the rest of you, go create!

Source: https://www.liverpool.com/liverpool-fc-news/features/liverpool-jurgen-klopp-jota-transfer-18962679

Liverpool F.C., Mohamed Salah, Jürgen Klopp, Anfield, Sadio Mané, Chelsea F.C.

Actu monde – US – Adding Diogo Jota gives Jürgen Klopp all manner of tactical flexibility

Abonnez-vous à notre chaîne Youtube en cliquant ici

Vidéo du jour: De la cocaïne retrouvée dans une école maternelle de Seine Saint Denis, deux enfants hospitalisés