Where Dominik Szoboszlai could fit in at Liverpool in 3 systems

Liverpool have moved quickly in the pursuit of their second summer signing, but where could Dominik Szoboszlai play for the Reds in various set-ups?

Positional versatility is one of the many reasons Jurgen Klopp‘s attention has been caught by the Hungarian in the transfer window, with Szoboszlai capable of operating in all areas across the middle of the park as well as on the right wing.

The manager is attempting to conduct major surgery on his midfield area this summer having already secured the services of Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton last month.

Liverpool have typically used a 4-3-3 formation during the Klopp era but switched to a fluid 3-4-3 system late last season with Trent Alexander-Arnold employed in a hybrid role across right-back and midfield.

It leaves the Reds with plenty of permutations in which to try and get the best out of the 22-year-old as fans eagerly await the start of 2023/24.

Here, we take a look at three of the main ways we expect him to fit into the side:


In the 3-4-3 formation

The shape we saw towards the end of the campaign is perhaps the one Liverpool are most likely to start with after the summer.

With Mac Allister expected to take up the left-hand slot in midfield, Szoboszlai would likely operate on the right of the Reds’ ‘box’ midfield four when in possession.

It would require him to defend from the front and press high up the pitch while also providing a goal threat from midfield that was lacking in Klopp’s side last season.

Szoboszlai would likely be given licence to look to create and score from the middle of the park, having registered 10 goals and 13 assists in all competitions for RB Leipzig last season.


In the 4-3-3 formation

The 4-3-3 is still the shape most fans would associate with Liverpool’s recent history and with numerous tactical changes throughout 2022/23 there is every chance we will still see it at times next season.

Szoboszlai’s role wouldn’t change drastically from that of the 3-4-3, but this system would see Alexander-Arnold revert back to his previous role and offer less support to Fabinho ahead of the back line.

The Hungarian would be required to clock plenty of miles, as is always expected from Klopp’s midfielders, and would fill the role we saw on numerous occasions carried out by Jordan Henderson and Harvey Elliott throughout last season.


Filling in for Mo

One potential depth issue that remains in Liverpool’s squad is the lack of cover for the talismanic Mohamed Salah, who has recently turned 31.

Szoboszlai’s ability to play on the right of a forward line could be invaluable for Klopp next season particularly given that the Reds will be without the Egyptian in January and possibly February during the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Reds have an embarrassment of riches up front when all the attacking options are fit and available, but Salah is currently the only senior player who is comfortable on the right side of the front three.

He won’t thank Klopp for a rest, but Liverpool’s No. 11 simply cannot continue to be relied upon so heavily as he heads towards the twilight years of his career.


Invaluable flexibility

2R03B5T Freiburg Im Breisgau, Germany. 06th May, 2023. Soccer: Bundesliga, SC Freiburg - RB Leipzig, Matchday 31, Europa-Park Stadion. Leipzig's Dominik Szoboszlai cheers after the game. Credit: Tom Weller/dpa - IMPORTANT NOTE: In accordance with the requirements of the DFL Deutsche FuBball Liga and the DFB Deutscher FuBball-Bund, it is prohibited to use or have used photographs taken in the stadium and/or of the match in the form of sequence pictures and/or video-like photo series./dpa/Alamy Live News

The 22-year-old has no shortage of routes into Liverpool’s starting 11 and will be helped massively by his ability to adapt to a number of different roles.

Klopp will ensure that he carries out his fair share of defensive work, something which Hungarian journalist and Liverpool fan Áron Aranyossy assured us would not be an issue for Szoboszlai.

Aranyossy told This Is Anfield: “He works hard and runs a lot in games especially out of possession. In that sense, I think he would be a great Klopp-player.”

It is undoubtedly an exciting move for Liverpool and another significant step towards rectifying the shortcomings of last season.

Let’s hope there are still more to come!