Four ways Liverpool could line up with Romeo Lavia in midfield

Midfield is, without a doubt, the area where Liverpool needed to strengthen this summer.

With the impending departures of both Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, added to the losses of James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade -Chamberlain, Liverpool have lost a lot of depth in the middle of the park.

The Reds have already made impressive additions in the form of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, but it is a holding player that Liverpool now really need to get in this summer.

So far throughout pre-season, Trent Alexander-Arnold has been used as a 'number six' as Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic recover from injury, while 20-year-old Tyler Morton is the only other defensive-minded option in the first-team squad.

Pressing ahead with the need to get more bodies in, Liverpool have opened talks for Southampton's Romeo Lavia – and there is confidence that a deal can be agreed for the Belgium international midfielder this week.

Let's take a look at how Liverpool might line up with Lavia at the base of midfield.

READ MORE: Romeo Lavia — What Southampton's transition killer would bring to Liverpool 

4-3-3 (Lavia, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai)

This formation is Jurgen Klopp's preferred tactical system, and has been a staple throughout his eight years at Anfield.

In this set-up, Lavia would slot straight into the base of Liverpool's three-man midfield, with Mac Allister and Szoboszlai likely tasked with producing the Reds' creative output higher up the pitch as more advanced 'number eights'.

Alternatively, the likes of Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott could be brought in to sub for the more attacking players.

Lavia's duties would represent a like-for-like swap with the departing Fabinho, who looks set to sign for Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad.

The only question mark here is whether the lone pivot role is too much of an ask for a 19-year-old with just one year of Premier League experience...

3-2-2-3 (Lavia, Alexander-Arnold, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai)

Last season at Southampton, Lavia was used as the more defensive partner in a midfield double pivot — often alongside the more creative James Ward-Prowse — something Liverpool also trialed in the later stages of the 2022/23 season.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold's move into midfield, Liverpool unleashed a fresh set of possibilities – a change that propelled the Reds into a European position, something that was inconceivable for much of the campaign.

A midfield partnering could provide more protection for the young Belgian, while also allowing Alexander-Arnold more creative freedom from deep.

4-4-2 (Salah, Lavia, Thiago, Diaz)

It's not a tactic Klopp has used often. In fact, the last time Jurgen Klopp fielded a starting XI in a 4-4-2 system was in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Rangers in the Champions League — game that saw the Reds look more solid following a chaotic 3-3 draw with Brighton.

In that outing, Thiago and Henderson were played centrally, shielding the back four, and it's conceivable that the Spain international could be used in a similar system again.

In addition to Thiago, any one of Mac Allister, Jones, Szoboszlai, or maybe even Alexander-Arnold could be used as a partner for Lavia in a more traditional midfield two.

4-2-3-1 (Lavia, Mac Allister)

Instead of using Alexander-Arnold in midfield, Klopp could look to bring in Mac Allister alongside Lavia for a 4-2-3-1 set up — something the Argentine often played at Brighton.

The system allows more protection for the back four and would enable Alexander-Arnold to remain at right back but still have plenty of licence to bomb forward.

The possibility of four-man forward line of Luis Diaz, Darwin Nuñez, Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah is also something many fans would be very excited to see!

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