Jürgen Klopp, the manager of Liverpool, has spoken about the club’s continually evolving attack
Jurgen Klopp has downplayed suggestions of Liverpool’s new forward line emulating the collective productivity of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane – but feels Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo have a bright future at Anfield.
In Sunday’s historic 7-0 win over Manchester United, Nunez, Gakpo, and Salah all scored braces before replacement Firmino added another late on.
Nunez’s double took him to 14 goals in all competitions in only 21 games since his £64m move from Benfica last summer, while January newcomer Gakpo has scored four goals in his last five for Klopp’s side.
Prior to the latter’s move to Bayern Munich last summer, Firmino, Salah, and Mane scored 338 goals as a trio during a distinguished period in which the club won every top-level championship possible.
When asked what Gakpo, Nunez, and Salah can learn from the attack the Egyptian played in alongside Mane and Firmino, who is due to leave this summer, Klopp said: “Nothing really because it is exceptional and impossible to reproduce because it was a unique footballing partnership.
“Everyone could play to his full potential, as it seemed to work out extremely well. The system we devised for the lads aided them all; they all saw it in the same light.
“So, yeah, the challenge for us is that with all of the changes we’ve done recently or in the coming years, we’ve always replaced a spectacular player, formation, or whatever because the boys are simply that outstanding. That is how it is, but that does not imply we cannot make changes.
“And that is why, as I previously stated, it may appear that we did not make any transfers, but I truly believe that the boys we brought in each have their own set of skills, and we will have to adapt as a team slightly, the way we play, the way we set it up, and all of these things, but they all have the potential to be really outstanding, and that is why we brought them in.
“And it’s obviously extremely wonderful that the excitement is there when the boys are new. They won’t be able to maintain the same level of excitement for the next 10-15 years, but when you come into a big club, good football, a sensational stadium… yeah, the boys are ready to push themselves to wherever – nobody knows where at the moment – but they are very young, they have a lot of football years ahead of them, and we will see.
“My goal is to make sure we put them in the right positions and play the right system for them in the right way so they can do what they do best – play football.”
Klopp went on to say: “Mo, of course, is (helping his new team-mates settle). He issues passes, but he also requires them. Darwin, in particular, has already had a couple assists for Mo, so of course.
“We don’t get into rocket science here, but it’s obvious that the lads must adapt to the way we want to play and the way we want them to play, but on the basis of what they provide us, their skill-set.
“Yet, they all get along well with one another. And I hope no one forgets how much Diogo Jota is missed. He’s an extremely intelligent football player, and the last game he played before his injury was against Manchester City, where he was superb in both ways.
“He’s the one who hasn’t scored yet since he’s been back, but he had an extremely odd and terrible injury, but he’s back, and he looks really fantastic in training as well, so it’s really vital we have them all fit and available.”