How Liverpool could line up next season, with Sadio Mane to depart, Benfica’s Darwin Nunez linked, and young midfielder satisfying Steven Gerrard demand

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Liverpool’s frightening front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane was always going to come to an end at some point.

And the trio, who have scored a combined 374 goals for the club, will be broken up this summer, with Sadio Mane set to leave the club after their Champions League final defeat.

Mane looks set for a move to Bayern Munich this summer, after six years at the club

Getty

Mane looks set for a move to Bayern Munich this summer, after six years at the club

The likes of Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota have been brought to great effect in recent years as the Reds pre-planned for the departure of their star strikers – and another could now be set to join the club.

Darwin Nunez is a player that Liverpool know well after their Champions League quarter-final games against Benfica last season, and he is reportedly on their radar as they look to replace the outgoing Mane.

The 22-year-old scored in both legs of their European clash, which the Merseysiders won 6-4 on aggregate.

It’s perhaps a move that should have been expected given Klopp’s comments after the Reds’ two-legged victory over the Portuguese side, where he heaped praise on the Uruguayan forward’s footballing ability… and good looks!

“Extremely good looking boy, huh?” Klopp joked earlier this year.

“And a decent player as well,” he added. “Really good, really good. I knew before, of course, but he played pretty much in front of me with his tough battles with Ibrahima Konate.

Nunez would be another exciting addition to Liverpool's attack

getty

Nunez would be another exciting addition to Liverpool’s attack

He could join fellow South American Diaz at Anfield

getty

He could join fellow South American Diaz at Anfield


Firmino may be forced to play as a No.10 if Liverpool sign another striker

getty

Firmino may be forced to play as a No.10 if Liverpool sign another striker

“He was physically strong, quick, was calm around his finish. Good, really good. I always say in these situations if he is healthy, it’s a big career ahead of him. ”

And Klopp could now play a part in the ‘big career’ that he tipped Nunez for, with Portuguese outlet Record reporting that the Reds could be set to pay the £ 85million that Benfica want for the striker.

That would see Nunez become the club’s record signing, eclipsing the £ 75m they paid Southampton for Virgil Van Dijk, and would likely eat into a lot, if not all, of the Reds’ summer transfer budget.

But Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has argued a goalscoring central midfielder should also be on their agenda this summer.

The Aston Villa boss said on BT Sport after the defeat to Real Madrid: “For Liverpool, if you think about the next five, six, seven years, they’re going to need a midfielder.

Gerrard knows all about No.8's who can score goals for Liverpool…

getty

Gerrard knows all about No.8’s who can score goals for Liverpool…

Liverpool's top-scoring midfielder last season was Fabinho, who finished on five league goals

getty

Liverpool’s top-scoring midfielder last season was Fabinho, who finished on five league goals

“An eight, who can get goals, who can get double figures.

“They are heavily reliant on the front three, or the front five if you include Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino, but you always need one of those midfielders that are going to get in the box and get you goals.”

But perhaps that could be a role that new signing Fabio Carvalho could play.

The addition of the ex-Fulham youngster may have gone under the radar after busy few weeks on the pitch for Liverpool, but the deal to sign the 19-year-old could be an important one.

The midfielder scored 10 goals and provided nine assists from attacking midfield in the campaign just gone, helping the west Londoners to promotion back to the Premier League.

Carvalho is more of a No.10 than a No.8, but could play in a slightly deeper role for Liverpool next season

getty

Carvalho is more of a No.10 than a No.8, but could play in a slightly deeper role for Liverpool next season

Whilst he’s not exactly the sort of player Gerrard was referring to, the Portuguese-born technician could be given a chance to impress next season.

The rest of their starting XI is likely to remain the same, which makes sense when you consider that they were essentially two wins away from winning the quadruple.

Klopp likes to make slight changes season by season and keep the opposition guessing, which could see new signings or even a slight change in system.

As for what that may look like, talkSPORT has taken a look…

4-3-3 – No new summer signings

It seems unlikely that Liverpool won't make any more new additions this summer

It seems unlikely that Liverpool won’t make any more new additions this summer

4-3-3 – Nunez and Carvalho

They have already signed Carvalho, who could fight it out with ex-Fulham teammate Harvey Elliott for a spot in central midfield

They have already signed Carvalho, who could fight it out with ex-Fulham teammate Harvey Elliott for a spot in central midfield

4-2-1-3 – Firmino as a No.10

Playing Firmino as a No.10 is something that Klopp has done a few times this season

Playing Firmino as a No.10 is something that Klopp has done a few times this season

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