Liverpool are still trying to dissect their Champions League defeat to Real Madrid. A myriad of pundits and experts have weighed in on the reasons behind Liverpool’s shortcomings.
But no one has put it as bluntly as Jürgen Klopp. Speaking at his official press conference after the game in Paris, Klopp made it clear where he thought things had gone awry.
“Courtois made three incredible saves. I would like to have had more of this caliber. In the final third we could have made better passes and cross,” Klopp told reporters.
Many had blamed Liverpool’s lack of ruthlessness in front of goal, but the reality was Liverpool created a high volume of half-chances without any quality clear-cut opportunities like the one Real Madrid scored at the other end.
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In the aftermath of the game, Steven Gerrard himself weighed in on the matter highlighting to BT Sport where he would like Liverpool to strengthen in order to fix Liverpool’s shortcomings.
“For Liverpool, if you think about the next five, six, seven years, they’re going to need a midfielder, 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.
“You always need one of those midfielders that’s going to get in the box and get you goals.”
This is an area where Liverpool haven’t really had a player since the departure of Philippe Coutinho, but that could be about to change this summer.
Liverpool.com have been speaking exclusively with the coaches and former scouts of Fábio Carvalho and the common consensus seems to be that the new club signing its best role would be in a central position at the tip of Liverpool’s midfield.
“I think somewhere centrally is his best role. If you ask me which Liverpool players do you see potentially coming in to take over from when they have kind of reached their time for me, he’s got a bit of the Firmino about him, but also a bit of Coutinho, “Balham FC’s founder, Greg Cruttwell, who discovered Carvalho at age 11 told Liverpool.com.
“It’s those sort of elements he brings, I think, you know, you he can do a job, he can play out wide, on the left or right. But I think that you want to get him on the ball. And I think what he’s done when I’ve seen him quite a lot while playing for Fulham is he finds those pockets of space and he gets in between the lines.So where he can really hurt you, whether it’s with an assist or a goal himself.
“He links play because he keeps it simple. And links play really well. And does it really quickly with one or two touches. So for me, you want him in the middle because he’ll just put sort of pop it about or open “up his body, get the ball and, switch the play. So, yeah, I think at Liverpool, I’d like to see him play centrally.”
Humphrey Aghoghovbia Jr, who first spotted Carvalho for Fulham, agrees.
“I actually think that Liverpool could benefit from a player like him – an attack-minded midfielder and someone who can arrive in the box, and operate in between the spaces. They’ve got great wide players or a wide forward to come off the line and make runs into the box or attack opposition defenders. But players you can play in the pocket, not so much. And I think Fábio is a very dynamic player in that sense. He can play inside pockets, link play and run behind. He’s got a little creativity to him.
“I personally think he will play really well as one of those high midfielders in the 4-3-3 system or potentially give Liverpool the ability to change the system around and play with someone off the front. I can see him playing in that like left-sided midfield role with him being the more advanced midfielder. ”
Based on those comments, and the fact that Carvalho averaged the most touches in the box from midfield in the Championship, Liverpool may not even need to turn to the market to fulfill Gerrard’s wish, they may have already found the answer to Klopp’s woes and the next step in the club’s metamorphosis.