Key Period for Liverpool’s Attacking Choices
As the season heads into a key period with Liverpool FC being top, the discussions around team selection and transfers become as heated as the action on the pitch. In the spotlight are Liverpool FC’s forwards, whose statistics in 2023 have been as telling as their performances. The trio of Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez, and Mohamed Salah represent a formidable attack, with numbers that speak volumes of their contribution and potential impact for the Reds. If we’re playing a stats game, it’s an easy decision for Klopp going forward.
Diogo Jota: The Perfect Counter Presser
Diogo Jota’s role in the Liverpool attack cannot be understated and how we missed him after that injury in the City game. With 16 goals to his name, he’s demonstrated a remarkable consistency in finding the back of the net since ending the barren run at Leeds last season. But it’s not just his goal-scoring prowess; it’s the versatility and the intelligence of his movements that enhance his teammates’ play. The perfect counterpresser in the firearm line, his 3 assists aren’t to be scoffed at, and with Gakpo and Diaz not seizing any mantle, he has to be starting at the moment.
Darwin Nunez: The Blistering Pace and Creator
Darwin Nunez’s arrival brought with it high expectations, and the Uruguayan has blown boiling-hot and ice-cold in obtaining his 14 goals. His ability to stretch defences with his blistering pace and agility has been crucial, yet it’s natural to be concerned about his conversion rate. His 8 assists show that he’s more than just a goal-scorer though and his link-up with Salah and overall improvements have been obvious. The former Benfica man has become something of a creator and player who can pull defenders out of position and set up his teammates.
Mohamed Salah: The Architect of Liverpool’s Threat
Mohamed Salah remains the talisman of Liverpool FC and Christ how we’ll miss him at AFCON. With 30 goals, Salah continues to defy age-related expectations, and his 18 assists are indicative of a player who is at the hub of all of Liverpool’s real threat. He’s not merely the finish line of Liverpool’s attacks but also often the architect. The Egyptian king’s vision and execution have been instrumental in Liverpool’s offensive play. Let’s not pretend we want him and Egypt to have an absolute stinker in January.
The Trident’s Complementary Styles
So why should Jota, Nunez, and Salah be the starting trident? Simply put, their statistics show they have the goals and assists that are vital for winning matches. Goals pay bills, and these three have them in abundance. But beyond the numbers, it’s the way their styles complement each other that’s compelling. Jota’s intelligence in positioning should allow Salah and Nunez the space to exploit. Nunez’s pace and directness offer a vertical threat that keeps opposition defenders on their heels, creating pockets of space for Salah and Jota to exploit. If you don’t understand why Salah starts I’d consider cricket.
Challenges for Gakpo and Diaz
Gakpo and Diaz have a real chance to bust this whole theory wide open, but considering the Colombian has less than double figures combined for contributions the upturn would have to be massive. Gakpo grabbed an assist (as did Diaz) against Burnley from the left-hand side and with Mo away will get opportunities to shine too. The Dutchman’s numbers aren’t bad by any means but for his amount of starts against the likes of Nunez, the stats will need to look a lot better as we move into 2024. Otherwise, it’s a squad of five with two natural bench options. Fitness and availability permitting. We’ll leave the futures of all for another day.