Liverpool has been linked to Mauro Icardi according to multiple sources, most notably ESPN. With Liverpool in need of a player in a couple of positions, they’ll be looking to prize away one of Europe’s elite scorers to potentially pair Daniel Sturridge.
Tactically, Liverpool’s key to success this season has been the 3-4-3 with Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana or Raheem Sterling as a sort of dual no. 10 system. No team is able to give a defensive midfielder as much stress as an in form Liverpool, as Lallana or Sterling looks to break away (or distract) the marker while Philippe Coutinho takes advantage of the crammed centre by floating in and out of the middle. Though this makes the best out of Lallana and Coutinho, it can leave Liverpool very open on the counter in midfield and on the wing, especially with Alberto Moreno and Raheem Sterling at wingback (reputation for a clanger!). In addition, Daniel Sturridge needs a partner up top and Mario Balotelli doesn’t seem dependable as the only option considering Rickie Lambert is a misfit tactically and Fabio Borini really isn’t there yet. This is why Mauro Icardi can complete the system.
Moreno and Sterling as wingbacks is a completely different issue, so I’ll stick to the task at hand: scoring goals. Mauro Icardi can do this in abundance and create very good chances for teammates. His skillset matches Daniel Sturridge’s in a similar manner to Luis Suarez, who brought the best out of the Englishman. Icardi is a superb player to do either of hold up the ball or poach for goals, and he forms a good partnership with Rodrigo Palacio already, so that is an advantage.
Assuming Adam Lallana doesn’t start anymore and is replaced by Icardi, we see Liverpool in a 3-4-1-2, much like the one deployed by Manchester United at various points in the season. A front 3 that consists of Coutinho, Sturridge and Icardi is very creative and quick.
My personal alternative would be for Liverpool to revert to a 4-2-2-2. This system would allow Liverpool to create a similar affect on a defensive midfielder as their dual 10s, while accommodating Icardi and being defensively solid.
Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can are all up-and-coming footballers, and though Can and Sterling have looked good at centre-back and wingback, respectively, it isn’t correct if Liverpool want them to fulfill the long-term vision. Raheem Sterling from that position would develop into somewhat of a better version of Antonio Valencia, and I think Brendan Rogers sees more of a Gareth Bale. As for Emre Can, I’d be trying to create a player more Nemanja Matic than Mats Hummels who plays the ball out of the back.
With this system, Liverpool is building a foundation to grow towards big things. Let’s look at the ages of their potential outfield lineup:
- Javier Manquillo, 20
- Martin Skrtel, 30
- Mamadou Sakho, 25
- Alberto Moreno, 22
- Emre Can, 21
- Jordan Henderson, 24
- Raheem Sterling, 20
- Philippe Coutinho, 22
- Mauro Icardi, 22
- Daniel Sturridge, 25
Youthful, with blistering pace and stunningly innovative. It’s been built into Liverpool for years, and the purchase of Mauro Icardi is just what’s needed to get Liverpool back on track to success.