It has been reported that Liverpool want to sign Lille forward Nicolas Pepe and have made an offer to the Ligue 1 side for his services, and it would definitely be one of the biggest transfers of the summer were it to happen.
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) June 8, 2019
The Ivory Coast international hit 22 goals and recorded 12 assists last term as Lille finished second in the French top-flight, bursting onto the scene after he hit 14 goals in 38 games the previous season.
Liverpool are fairly light in attack behind Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, and have only been weakened further by the departure of Daniel Sturridge.
You can relive Liverpool’s Champions League celebrations in glorious 2D thanks to the guys at 442oons in the video below…
Pepe would add excellent depth to Jurgen Klopp’s frontline as he can play as a right-forward or as a centre-forward, so let’s take a look at a few ways Liverpool could line up with the 24-year-old in their ranks…
This system would be in the instance that Firmino is out injured, like he was against Barcelona, when Klopp had to play Gini Wijnaldum as a striker in the first leg and in the second half of the second leg.
Of course, if the Brazilian is fit he will play, but this system in which Salah reverts to a centre-forward position – where he played at the start of 2018/19 – will allow Pepe to play on his natural side.
Equally, that first system is interchangeable and Pepe may find himself centrally whilst Salah drifts out to the right, where he is a danger when cutting in on his right foot.
Klopp has already expressed his desire to see ‘flexible football’ in the past, emphasising the fact that his attackers needn’t stick to their positions.
This last system sees Firmino in his False 9 position, and is in the instance where Salah may be missing through injury or suspension, as he was in the second leg of the Champions League against Barcelona after suffering concussion.
Firmino pulling the centre-backs infield would allow for a lot of space to be run into by Mane and Pepe, which could cause mayhem.