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The Liverpool midfield that closed the match against Greuther Furth says a lot about the transfer market conflict

It’s the single most frequently asked question during Jürgen Klopp’s reign as Liverpool manager.

And this summer, at least, the answer is getting harder to determine by the day.

How can the Reds solve their eternal conundrum in midfield?

The £95m signings of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai had seemingly helped provide a definitive answer, only Saudi interest in Fabinho and Jordan Henderson adding an unexpected layer of uncertainty.

Not quite back to square one, but barely the step forward Klopp thought he’d made two weeks ago.

The Reds boss, speaking over the weekend, is adamant there will be at least one new face when Liverpool join Chelsea for their first Premier League game in less than three weeks.


Until then, however, Liverpool need to experiment.

And with Szoboszlai absent for a stroke – alongside Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic, who are not yet fully fit, on the touchline – the lack of numbers in midfield became painfully evident at times during a rousing 4-4 friendly draw with German second division side Greuther Furth behind closed doors on Monday afternoon.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was once again named as the starting defensive midfielder and did little harm against opponents who only really exploded after being knocked out in the second half.

With time running out, there is now every chance Alexander-Arnold will become number six at Stamford Bridge, curiously where he made his debut in Liverpool midfield over five years ago.

To his right, Mac Allister was cheering again, still finding vacancies and trying to support his fellow forwards.

When it comes to attack, there should be little concern from the engine room this season.

The real intriguer, however, was Cody Gakpo, who, like in the second half against Karlsruhe, stood out on the left of midfield.


Gakpo started from the bottom for Liverpool once last season – largely because his size could help stave off Brentford’s set-piece threat – but his positional intelligence, strength and good control, not to mention the Reds’ attacking depth, make the Dutch international a viable option in midfield.

Unlike Karlsruhe, it was the team that struggled against Greuther in the second half as the effects of triple training sessions at the nearby camp became clear.

Liverpool had taken the lead at half-time through Luis Diaz’s individual attack but, despite two goals from Darwin Nunez, needed a late equalizer from Mohamed Salah to avoid defeat.

That midfield at the final whistle was the young trio of James McConnell, Bobby Clark and Melkamu Frauendorf spoke volumes.

1With just three friendlies to go, Klopp knows the opportunity to experiment is closing fast – let alone the one where much-needed reinforcement from the defensive midfield needs to be brought in.

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