Sources: Klopp plans to change Liverpool system and hand Thiago new role next season
Jurgen Klopp is planning to change the Liverpool system and make Thiago Alcantara the heartbeat of the team next season, Football Insider has learned.
The Spaniard became an increasingly influential figure in the final months of the recent campaign and Klopp expects him to be a key man in 2021-22.
A Liverpool source has told Football Insider that the manager is looking to use some of pre-season to try out Thiago, 30, in a playmaker role behind the front three.
He was used predominantly as a central midfielder in his debut campaign and was deployed as the deepest-lying one on a number of occasions when Fabinho and Jordan Henderson played in defence.
But Liverpool’s coaching staff believe the Spaniard is at his most effective when he is dictating the play higher up the pitch.
His passing range and ability to open up defences in tight spaces offers an intriguing option outside of Klopp’s normal system.
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The Merseysiders have lined up in a 4-3-3 for most of Klopp’s reign, with three midfielders operating behind three attacking players, usually Roberto Firmino, Mohammad Salah and Sadio Mane before being joined by Diogo Jota last season.
Klopp has rarely used a conventional number 10 during his Anfield reign, although Firmino has sometimes dropped back to take on that role.
Deploying Thiago further forward would add to Liverpool’s attacking threat while also reducing the possibility of him conceding fouls in dangerous positions.
He made 20 Premier League starts among 30 appearances in his debut campaign, scoring once and not providing any assists.
The 42-times international is at the Euros with Spain and was a second-half sub on Monday in their opening draw against Sweden.