Connect with us


The implementation of Xabi Alonso’s system has the potential to bring forth the combined talents of Conor Bradley and Trent Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool…



The emergence of Conor Bradley at Liverpool has posed a question regarding Trent Alexander-Arnold’s role in the team. Xabi Alonso’s system might hold the key to unlocking the potential of both players simultaneously.


Conor Bradley’s exceptional performances have left Jürgen Klopp with a difficult decision to make. The young talent’s remarkable display against Chelsea, where he scored a goal and provided two assists, played a significant role in Liverpool’s impressive victory.


Certainly, it presents a similar challenge for Klopp to exclude Trent Alexander-Arnold. Although Alexander-Arnold made a substitute appearance against Chelsea to regain his fitness, it was likely done with the upcoming crucial match against Arsenal in mind.


However, based on Bradley’s recent performance and his consistent contribution since joining the team, he would undoubtedly be a valuable asset at the Emirates. While Bradley acknowledges the difficulty of displacing Alexander-Arnold, there is a genuine discussion about whether Liverpool can find a way to accommodate both players simultaneously.


Realistically, this is not a problem that Klopp needs to address. As Liverpool pursues a quadruple, Klopp is unlikely to make any drastic changes to the team’s system in his remaining months at the club.


However, the incoming manager will face a delightful predicament. Klopp is leaving behind a squad brimming with exceptional talent, which will reach its collective peak in a few years. If Xabi Alonso assumes the Liverpool job, his tactical approach could create opportunities for both Alexander-Arnold and Bradley.


Undoubtedly, there are numerous uncertainties at play here. Alonso may not be the next manager, and even if he is, there is no guarantee that he will adhere to his Bayer Leverkusen tactics. We are still awaiting Klopp’s acquisition of his “new Mario Götze” at Liverpool to fully unlock the 4-2-3-1 formation he favored during his time at Borussia Dortmund.


However, one thing that is definite is that Liverpool will undergo a significant transformation in the summer. After eight and a half years under Klopp’s guidance, the club will experience a sudden influx of fresh ideas, accompanied by changes in the backroom staff.


There is great potential for implementing innovative tactics on the field. Leverkusen’s back three formation, led by Alonso, could provide the ideal solution to the challenges posed by Bradley and Alexander-Arnold.


While Bradley possesses immense talent, he differs from Alexander-Arnold. Although he may develop in a similar direction, currently he excels as a more traditional attacking full-back. His exceptional defensive work-rate and creative abilities allow him to tirelessly contribute to both ends of the pitch.


This makes him a perfect fit for the wing-back role in Alonso’s system. Bradley would effectively assume the responsibilities of Jeremie Frimpong, while Andy Robertson would perform a similar role on the opposite side, emulating Álex Grimaldo.


Initially, the back three formation may not seem suitable for Liverpool’s personnel due to limited options. However, a defensive trio consisting of Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konaté, and either Joe Gomez or Jarell Quansah would be formidable. Additionally, Alonso would have the opportunity to recruit new players for this position.


In this setup, Alexander-Arnold would have the platform to showcase his skills. There are striking similarities between him and Alonso in terms of their ability to effortlessly distribute the ball. Alexander-Arnold would thrive in one of the deep-lying playmaker roles, allowing him ample opportunities to display his passing prowess. While it may not be entirely accurate to compare him to Granit Xhaka, it is worth noting that Xhaka has excelled in Germany, with his exceptional passing range being a prominent feature of his game.


Many believe that if Alexander-Arnold were to transition into midfield, he would excel as a number eight rather than a number six. This is because his creative abilities would be better utilized in a more advanced position. However, considering his exceptional long passing skills, there is an argument for keeping a significant portion of the pitch in front of him. In a double pivot formation, alongside Alexis Mac Allister, Alexander-Arnold would have the opportunity to venture forward as well.


This proposed “back eight” formation is truly exciting. With the front three given the freedom to attack and instructed to press intensely and find goal-scoring opportunities, Bradley and Robertson would provide the necessary width.


Although Alonso currently employs two floating playmakers behind a lone striker, it may not be the most obvious fit for Liverpool. However, with some slight adjustments, it is not difficult to envision a modified version of this formation working well for the team.


As each week passes, it becomes increasingly difficult to overlook Darwin Núñez as the ideal candidate to lead the line. He has the potential to become Alonso’s new Victor Boniface. With Mohamed Salah accustomed to operating in those pockets of space and having recently been tested in a more central role with Egypt, there is reason to believe that he could thrive in a similar position.


Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota, and Luis Díaz are all strong contenders for the final slot in the Liverpool team. While they may not possess the same qualities as Jonas Hoffman or Florian Wirtz, their attacking versatility has been proven. Another viable option could be Dominik Szoboszlai, who could fill one of those roles, alongside Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott who are also in contention.


However, this means sacrificing some elite talent by removing an attacking option to accommodate an extra center-back. The trade-off is becoming increasingly evident, especially as the argument to include Bradley and Alexander-Arnold in the same team gains momentum. Perhaps Xabi Alonso has the perfect solution in mind.


A potential Liverpool team under Xabi Alonso could consist of Alisson; Konaté, Van Dijk, Gomez; Bradley, Alexander-Arnold, Mac Allister, Robertson; Salah, Szoboszlai; Núñez.