Liverpool’s need for Pepe or Dembele highlighted by Mohamed Salah statistics

This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Last season, we saw Jurgen Klopp experiment with his Liverpool side and deviate from his trusty 4-3-3 system.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss tested out how Mohamed Salah fared as a centre-forward in a 4-2-3-1 formation, playing Roberto Firmino as a centre-attacking midfielder instead behind the Egyptian.

Judging by the visual figures on Understat, the former Roma man enjoyed playing in the middle and it was where most of his best attempts on goal came from.

As you can see, the 27-year-old was heavily involved in the middle of the field.

The green dots represent efforts on goal which went in, whilst the blue dots are shots that were saved by the keeper.

Salah appeared as a right-forward 25 times last term, but only 13 times as a centre-forward – we can clearly see that he prefers to operate centrally though, so the Reds could do with a quality right winger who will occupy the space out there whilst the Liverpool No.11 does his best work in the middle.

Check out some amazing tekkers in the video below…

In those 13 games as a centre-forward, Salah scored an eye-catching 13 goals, whereas he hit three less than that with 10 strikes from his 25 games as a wide man.

It is quite evident that the 5 foot 9 forward operates better in the middle.

In that respect, players such as Nicolas Pepe and Ousmane Dembele could be of use to Klopp as they are more out-and-out wide men. They would be needed if Salah was to be moved into the middle permanently as the European champions lack a right winger of real class behind the Egypt star – Xherdan Shaqiri simply hasn’t done the business yet.

Lille forward Pepe, who scored 22 Ligue 1 goals last term, has been linked and would be able to be an effective figure on the right, seeing as he played 40 times out on that flank last season and recorded such impressive goalscoring numbers.

Additionally, Barcelona wide man Dembele has been linked with a move to Anfield, and he too is an out-and-out wide man who can play on the right as well as on the left.

If Salah is to be moved into the middle, Liverpool could do with one of Dembele or Pepe to compensate for the 27-goal Egyptian’s position change.