Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team have started the 2017/18 Premier League season like a house on fire, playing some daring and heart-warming football, especially the forwards.
The Reds to date have netted an impressive eight goals in three league games, Sadio Mane top of the chart with three league strikes, recorded in three successive games.
Much of the early season projections appear to favour a head-to-head title race between rivals-Manchester United and Liverpool- with a section of pundits appearing to tilt the pendulum slightly in the Reds direction for a maiden Premier League title.
While fans, viewers are being blown away by the free-flowing attacking football exhibited by the trio of Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, coupled with their lightning counterattacks, which has gone a long way in calming frayed nerves about the absence of want-away star Philipe Coutinho, the major source of worry for observers is an obvious lack of height in attack, an Achilles’ heel that in the not-so-distant future will be exploited by opponents in a league which thrives on physicality and bullying.
Mane stands at 5 ft 9 in, same as Salah 5 ft 9 in, while Firmino appears to have a few inches over his peers standing at 5ft 11 in. The situation isn’t exactly helped equally by new £35million signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose height is recorded at an average 5 ft 11 in.
Added to Adam Lallana and Coutinho, Klopp might have a huge problem against physically imposing opponents who have a ready-made antidote to his side’s free-flowing, fast paced football.
The decision to loan out the one major physical threat in Liverpool’s attack, Divock Origi to Wolfsburg might comeback to hurt and hunt the Reds, considering Daniel Sturridge isn’t the most physical, equally not the most ignorable in terms of size, but are his well-documented injury problems over?
This leaves the manager with just ONE major physical threat in attack, in the form of inexperienced Dominic Solanke, the new signing from Chelsea who was selected as the best player and top goalscorer at the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup, a tournament England won.
Failure to address this glaring loophole in the Liverpool attack could lead to the Reds once again becoming the leagues ‘nearly team’, and they could well be struggling for the final two UEFA Champions League qualification spot at the end of the season.