Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp missing perfect Cody Gakpo partner dearly in Brentford loss | Football | Sport
Liverpool were lacklustre and toothless in their first game of 2023 with Jurgen Klopp’s lack of attacking options costing them dearly in the end. Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah have been Liverpool’s regular attacking threat since the season resumed with Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota out for the long-term – but Roberto Firmino’s absence may be the biggest miss for Klopp at the moment.
Gakpo will provide another edge to Liverpool’s attack when he’s set to make his debut this weekend against Wolves in the FA Cup. The Dutchman was electrifying in the Eredivisie for PSV and Liverpool will be hoping he can hit the ground running.
But Klopp will need to find a way to help unlock Gakpo’s true potential at Liverpool. Salah and Nunez have been striking up a nice partnership in recent weeks, but they were ineffective in the opening 45 minutes against Brentford.
The pair were guilty of stepping on each others toes, with nobody dropping into the gap between midfield and defence to try and unlock Brentford. Firmino has been that exact player for Liverpool ever since he joined in providing the link between midfield and attack.
While not a regular goalscorer in comparison to Salah, Nunez or Gakpo, Firmino’s role has always been different in Klopp’s team. And his presence was clearly missed more than ever in the first half against Brentford with no Liverpool player pushing into the pockets of space.
That all changed at the break when Klopp rung the changes with Naby Keita and Andy Robertson coming on for Harvey Elliott and Kostas Tsimikas. Liverpool appeared to change their shape in the process with both Salah and Nunez working more in tandem as a two as opposed to a three with Oxlade-Chamberlain.