In one of the most competitive Liverpool squads in years, there are conundrums for Jürgen Klopp all over the park. Simon Mignolet or Lorie Karius? Dejan Lovren or Mamadou Sakho? James Milner or Alberto Moreno? Daniel Sturridge or Roberto Firmino? In just over 12 months Klopp has transformed our squad to one with 12 or 13 real options to one of the best Liverpool squad in recent years with two realistic options for every position. The greatest testament to this was our 2-1 over Spurs with 11 changes in the EFL Cup.
The big debate at the minute is whether Emre Can or Gini Wijnaldum start along Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana in the midfield three. Last season I went from not being sure if Emre Can was up to it to believing he was one of our key players in a matter of months. In terms of Gini Wijnaldum, one of the highest compliments I can pay to him is that when we signed him I wasn’t sure where he’d fit in and now it’s hard to see a Liverpool side without him. However, due to Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana’s impressive performances in their roles for the Reds, there’s only one space left in Jürgen Klopp’s midfield for these two.
I believed along with many, fuelled by the Burnley performance, that our best football this season would only come with Emre Can playing in that number ‘6’ role. More fool me and those who agreed, as Jordan Henderson has come in and absolutely bossed it there and made mugs of us all. Can’s immense performances towards the end of last season saw him emerge as a key player for the Reds, with the highlight performance being when he completely ran the game for us against Villarreal. After a rusty couple of games back after a few weeks out injured, the German seems to be getting back into things, bagging his first goal of the season against Crystal Palace last Saturday.
During Can’s injury problems which I alluded to in the above paragraph, Gini Wijnaldum came into the Reds side. I have to admit, prior to this season I hadn’t seen too much of the Dutchman. I wasn’t sure what his game was about or if he was really suited to us. It’s safe to say he has impressed so far. A clear upgrade on Joe Allen, Wijnaldum is very intelligent with the ball, linking the defence and attack very well and demonstrating a fantastic awareness of his surroundings that have seen him knock up a few assists for the Reds already.
My personal opinion is that Wijnaldum suits that advanced role slightly more than Emre Can does. I do believe Emre Can’s best position is in that ‘6’ role, and it remains to be seen whether he can take that spot from Jordan Henderson. For me though, the Reds have looked at their best this season with Henderson, Gini and Lallana in that midfield three. Maybe Can needs to bide his time before getting a long run in Liverpool’s midfield, maybe Klopp will ignore me and stick with Can (I wouldn’t blame him!). If you don’t agree with my solution, I’m sure we can all agree it’s great to have these options in our squad again.
Written by @JackMitchell_5