Liverpool have been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez.
While the transfer is far from confirmed, it’s interesting to think what Saul could offer to the Liverpool team. A versatile midfielder, Saul can play across the 3 midfield positions and at the age of 26, he would be a valuable addition to this side.
Let’s take a look at 3 ways we can line up next season with Saul in the squad:
Option 1: Fab as DM, Saul and Thiago ahead
As per Transfermarkt, Saul has played as the right midfielder in 67 games, bagging 13 goals at that position.
His work rate is in no question, having played under Diego Simeone, who demands complete discipline and movement from his players.
This midfield trio works out great on paper – while there’s still a lack of goalscoring threat, the creativity, progressive passes and ball retention skills could make up for that.
Option 2: Saul ahead of Fabinho-Hendo pivot
Of course, we can’t forget Jordan Henderson – the skipper has been suffering from injuries but should still start a lot of games next season.
A midfield of Fabinho and Hendo has proven to be our best duo for the past couple of seasons – adding Saul as the primary attacking midfielder makes sense.
Admittedly, Saul is not a traditional attacking midfielder so we can’t expect him to light the Premier League up with his goals. However, again, the workrate and off-the-ball movement in this team will be key.
Saul’s runs ahead will be vital and his presence can create more space for the forwards to attack.
Option 3: The Fab 4 start with Fabinho and Saul behind
We’re sure that at some point next season, Klopp will experiment with starting the Fab 4 together.
We don’t expect to see this lineup a lot, but if so, Saul can slot in next to Fabinho in the midfield with the attackers ahead of these 2.
Saul’s primary position is central midfield – he has played most of his career (171 senior games) as the primary CM in the team. If you add someone like Fabinho next to him, then there’s no reason to believe that this 2-man midfield can’t excel in particular games.
Concerns about current form
We do need to mention that Saul hasn’t been as good as he was over the last 2 seasons. He does not have Simeone’s faith anymore as he has been replaced by new signing Rodrigo De Paul.
While he has made 88 appearances for Atletico over the last 2 seasons, there has been a noticeable dip in form. Saul himself says the dip is mental, so it could be that a change in scenery and someone like Klopp is who he needs to turn things around!
At the end of the day, Saul is 26 – around the same age as Gini Wijnaldum when we signed him. Under Klopp, perhaps he can revert to the world-class midfielder who was lighting Spain and Europe on fire from midfield.
This article “3 ways Reds could line up with versatile midfielder” originally appeared on tribuna.com