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Jurgen Klopp hints at change of system ahead of Liverpool’s pre-season return

2 July 2017

Jurgen Klopp has revealed he will be “introducing different systems” this pre-season, suggesting Liverpool could line up differently in 2017/18.

The German has changed formation in both of his seasons with the Reds so far, deploying a 4-2-3-1 in 2015/16 and, last season, predominantly a 4-3-3.

Klopp also utilised a three-man defensive line in the closing stages of 2016/17, as Liverpool clung on for a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League.

Bolstering his squad with the signings of Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke already this summer, Klopp is hoping to mould his setup further over a busy pre-season schedule.

Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s return to Melwood on Wednesday, the 50-year-old hinted at another change in system for the upcoming campaign.

“Tactically-wise, getting more flexible—depending who is there and when—and introducing different systems,” he said of his aims for the summer.

“[In 2015-16], we played most of the time kind of 4-2-3-1, [in 2016-17] most of the time 4-3-3 or 4-5-1. In our opinion, it fitted best to the players we had.

“I’m not sure which way we have to play next year, there will be a few different ones.

“And we’ll prepare for European football also, so we need a bigger squad of course. We’ll be good. I’m looking forward to it.”

Klopp stressed that he was hoping to see “big, big progress” over the course of the summer, with Liverpool set to play eight pre-season fixtures, starting in Tranmere and ending in Dublin.

One of the most important factors for Klopp is in the continued integration of his young players, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ovie Ejaria and Ben Woodburn among those working their way up.

“Usually you always want to take the next step from one year to the next year,” he continued.

“You have to see how things fit and when the new players are in.

“Young players are one year older, that doesn’t make the biggest difference but being one year longer involved in the first team.

“They can make big steps because they are a little bit settled in a good way.

“They feel not as excited anymore about each day in training, thinking ‘Oh my god, that’s Adam Lallana next to me’ and things like this. That can be a big difference.

“You have to probably make one or two steps back to then make five or six steps in the right direction. They are the same objectives.”

Klopp could look to add to his ranks with further promotions from the academy this summer, too, identifying the options that will give Liverpool the best chance of success in 2017/18.

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