Liverpool: First-team options created by the new signings 5

Liverpool are expected to do more business this Summer, and you would expect at least two or three new arrivals: a centre-back, a left-back, and maybe another forward will likely move to Anfield before the end of the window.

Still, they’ve been busy already and here are the new options created by the arrival of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Emre Can.

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The obvious. A lot of pace, a lot of guile, and a nice stable midfield - clearly a safe option at home against mid-to-lower table sides.  That advanced three of Lallana, Coutinho and Sterling is essentially interchangeable.

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A variation on Brendan Rodgers’ 3-5-2 from last season.  Emre Can is not a specialist left-back, and he’s far more at ease in the centre of midfield, but he is a credible option as a wing-back - and this exercise is really about demonstrating where certain players can play rather than necessarily where they will.  Can is strong aerially, so this could be a way of reacting to a physical opposition or to a side with strong set-piece reliance.  Additionally, Rodgers can adopt this structure when chasing games, or when he needs to incorporate a second forward.

A defensive twist on the first option.  Adam Lallana is sacrificed, Jordan Henderson is pushed wide to provide defensive support down the right-hand side, and Emre Can reverts to deep-midfield.  Maybe the kind of set-up that we’ll see from Liverpool when playing away to Chelsea, Manchester City etc, or during the away games in the Champions League group stage.

There are clearly other alternatives and certain players can be dropped in or out of those formations or moved about, but Liverpool probably won’t vary too far from those three options - unless there’s significant, squad-altering transfer activity.

On paper it all looks very healthy, and the squad seems to have the flexibility and strength to comfortable retain a top-four spot.

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