JUST IN: Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp have new playmaker-in-chief and the Premier League should be scared

JUST IN: Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp have new playmaker-in-chief and the Premier League should be scared

Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp have changed their style this season and while it hasn’t quite clicked into gear yet in the Premier League, there are positive signs.

When Liverpool needed to find a goal against Newcastle, it was no surprise that Mohamed Salah was in the vicinity. It was, after a short scramble, Fábio Carvalho who smashed the ball past Nick Pope — anyone would have done.

For Liverpool, heading into the Merseyside derby on Saturday at Goodison Park, it was another moment that should help build momentum. Carvalho’s goal — after Newcastle United had frustrated Anfield for so long — was a let-off with the potential to kick-start his Liverpool career and the Reds’ season.

This was not a fluid, attacking Liverpool performance. The number of times that Newcastle players went down with injuries and the number of seconds that Pope took with goal kicks ensured that.

But it was another step towards achieving the plan of evolution that Jürgen Klopp and his coaching team are trying to develop. It was another chance to see the new Salah and the new system.

Salah created more chances than anyone else (six) on the night and Andy Robertson was next on that list with half as many (three).

It is a similar story across the Premier League. While Erling Haaland might be tearing away at the top of the goalscoring charts, Salah has created more chances for his teammates than anyone else.

The Egyptian is already up to 21 chances created in his five matches to date, which is five more than second-placed Leeds United winger Jack Harrison and six more than Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne. Make it open-play chances only and Salah is 10 better than second-placed Dejan Kulusevski, with the Spurs man having created 11.

The next Liverpool player on the full list is Trent Alexander-Arnold — usually much higher up than that — with 12 chances created (almost half of Salah’s output at this stage). Roberto Firmino and Harvey Elliott are next with seven.
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The way that Liverpool are playing so far this season has shifted — likely with Darwin Núñez in mind — and while they have not quite got it right yet, it remains a matter of time before it clicks.

They were not particularly fluent during the match against Newcastle on Wednesday night, and apart from against a very poor Bournemouth team, they have not yet been so far this season.

But Salah was at least a little closer to the goal against Newcastle than he has been in many games to date this campaign, and his new-found role as playmaker-in-chief continued.

Salah still needs to find the right balance between creating and scoring, but that will come as the team gets used to their new way of playing — and the return from suspension of Núñez, the man it is likely built for, will only help.

When Liverpool and Salah do click, the Egyptian will be doubly as devastating. For the time being, Liverpool just need to continue to find ways to win without being at their best...CONTINUE.YOUR.READING

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