Evaluating Liverpool’s Need for a New Defensive Midfielder

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Need for a 6: Do Liverpool Really Need a New Defensive Midfielder?

In a recent episode of The Deep Dive on The Redmen TV, Chris and Josh tackled the much-debated topic: Does Liverpool need a new defensive midfielder? This question has been on the minds of many fans and analysts alike. With Liverpool’s recent changes and the possible implementation of a new system under Arne Slot, the answer is not as straightforward as it may seem.

Evaluating the Current Squad

Chris opened the discussion by pointing out the general consensus among fans: “The thought process is we needed one last season; we got Endo in. He was a stopgap; therefore, we need a defensive midfielder.” This assumption has persisted despite a lack of in-depth analysis. Josh concurred, adding that while Liverpool could certainly benefit from a “new six, a shiny new six who’s boss,” the situation is more nuanced.

Endo’s recent acquisition and the overall market conditions play a significant role. Josh highlighted, “The market isn’t particularly strong. Bayern Munich’s ten sixes are getting, they’re chatting like 50 million for a player who’s like 28.” This context suggests that an upgrade may not be as feasible or urgent as some believe.

The 4-3-3 vs. 4-2-3-1 Systems

A key part of the debate revolves around Liverpool’s tactical setup. Chris and Josh explored the differences between the traditional 4-3-3 formation and the 4-2-3-1 system that Slot might favor. In a 4-3-3, the lone defensive midfielder (the six) plays a critical role in linking the defense, midfield, and attack. Josh explained, “In terms of on the ball, he’s the link between the defense, the midfield, and the attack.”

However, the 4-3-3 system places heavy demands on the six, especially out of possession. Josh noted, “It’s harder to be a six compared to playing in a double pivot because you just have to do more of everything yourself.” In contrast, a 4-2-3-1 formation, with two holding midfielders, can distribute these responsibilities more evenly, reducing the burden on any single player.

Photo: IMAGO

Slots New System: The 4-2-3-1 Approach

With the potential shift to a 4-2-3-1 under Slot, Chris and Josh delved into how this change might influence Liverpool’s midfield dynamics. Chris illustrated the formation’s advantages: “In Slot’s 4-2-3-1 formation, you’ve got your support here and here, and this lad’s not bombing forwards as well.” This setup offers more structural support, potentially alleviating the need for a highly mobile and solitary six.

Josh echoed this sentiment, suggesting that the current squad might be better suited to a 4-2-3-1 system. He argued, “You might benefit more from doing that, looking at Liverpool’s squad and the market.”

In conclusion, while the desire for a new defensive midfielder at Liverpool is understandable, Chris and Josh’s analysis on The Deep Dive suggests that the answer isn’t clear-cut. The current squad’s capabilities, market conditions, and potential tactical shifts under Slot all contribute to a complex decision-making process. As Chris aptly put it, “Everyone just thinks we need a DM, but it’s not necessarily what’s up for grabs.”

By considering both the 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 formations and evaluating potential targets, Liverpool can make a more informed decision about their midfield needs. Whether or not they decide to sign a new six, it is clear that careful analysis and strategic planning are essential for the club’s continued success.

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