The Timo Werner transfer saga is one of the longest-running deals. With the German striker been tearing the Bundesliga apart and has 21 goals and 7 assists this season so far. Since joining Leipzig, only Lewandowski has more goals than him. No wonder Liverpool want him.
Werner could be headed to Anfield if the Reds decide to trigger his £52m release clause. But with Liverpool already having a formidable front three, where will Werner fit in the line-up?
Werner is a different number 9 than what Klopp has preferred in his lineup throughout the years. No wonder it has been tough for many strikers to break into Klopp’s lineup. Firmino used to play as a striker as well as an attacking midfielder at Hoffenheim. Under Klopp, Firmino has played a deeper role as a creator than a goal poacher. Werner is more like an out and out striker. He’s fast with good positioning and scores a lot of goals.
Klopp usually prefers to deploy a 4-3-3 with Mane, Firmino and Salah up front. But with Werner, Klopp will have to tweak his formation. Either he can rotate Werner and Firmino or he can accommodate both in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Klopp has sometimes used this formation with Origi as a striker but it will more deadly with Werner in the lineup.
The 4-2-3-1 formation will lead to Liverpool moving from a single-pivot system to a double-pivot system. Liverpool will have some competition for the two spots. Fabinho and Henderson can play in a double-pivot system with the Brazilian in a deeper role than Henderson. Fabinho will be there to help out the defense and Henderson will have the independence to win balls in the midfield and move forward.
As Liverpool use the threat of pace from wings, the formation will quickly change into 4-2-1-3, with Mane and Salah pushing further up and Firmino dropping deep. Bobby will not have much problem in adapting his new role permanently as he has the experience of dropping deep in the midfield. This formation will allow Werner to play as an out and out number 9, a role he’s used to.
This is how the probable lineup would look like:
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Van Dijk, Andy Robertson
Jordan Henderson, Fabinho
Mo Salah, Bobby Firmino, Sadio Mane
However, this may not be the only solution for Klopp if Werner arrives. But Werner’s arrival will provide options for Klopp. Klopp will have the freedom to tweak his lineup related to the opponent. Klopp may also use 4-3-3 with one among Firmino or Werner starting and the other one coming as a substitute.
Klopp may also use a classic 4-4-2 of two-man striker formation with both Werner and Firmino as striker and Mane & Salah on either wing. But the 4-2-3-1 formation with Werner and the current Liverpool trio would be a scary lineup for any opponent in the world.