We are almost to the end of the International break, with Liverpool returning to action this weekend against Wolves. But as now isn’t The Weekend, we’re caught with needing to write things about Liverpool FC without any actualy Liverpool FC football to talk about.
Which is what brings us to my favorite game to do as a fan: idle speculation! That’s right, today we are bringing to you the first in a series of articles and opportunity to conjecture wildly about tactical/personnel decisions based on nothing more than your opinion as a fan.
Based on a game that’s a bit inappropriate, I’ve decided to call our version Start, Bench, Sell where - guessed it - you get to pick from a trio of Liverpool players that either occupy similar roles or positions on the team and get to play front office executive for a day.
This week’s edition will focus on the glut of attacking players that can play on the left. This one stands out because the Reds actually have more than the requisite three players who can hold down a job as a left-sided attacker: Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez, and Diogo Jota have all had experience playing as an attacking player on the left.
However, since we only need three for the purposes of this exercise, I will make the entirely arbitrary decision and name our eligible group as Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo, and Darwin Nunez. I will not explain why except to say since this is my game, I make the rules!
Now y’all can sound off in the comments on which of the three you’d choose to start, bench, and sell, I’ll take you through a process deciding upon my answer, which is Darwin Nunez to start, Luis Diaz benched, and Cody Gakpo sold.
This is a truly tough call and I could have gone with anyone in the starter position and wanted no one to be sold. Ultimately, I went with starting Darwin because I love his mix of Golden Retriever chaos and sheer ability to, on his day, scythe through an opponent. His ceiling feels impossible to calculate and remains most tantalizing of the young forwards that LFC has on offer.
I benched Luis as a nod to him being the consistent first choice under Klopp to man the wide area. In terms of traditional winger stuff, Luis is as close as it gets to emulating what Mo does on the opposite wing. He’ll need to become much better at creating space for cleaner shots, but given how deadly he’s been at finishing the difficult angles he’s seen, I’d say he’ll only continue to grow.
I don’t want to sell anyone! But I have to follow through on the rules and so I’m left with no choice but to sell Cody Gakpo. This one’s tough because I love his positional flexibility and I think his sense of movement really does open space up for Mo and Luis to operate. I’m also a big fan of tall, gangly fowards that move with better than expected agility. This a tough call, but I love Darwin and Lucho too much.
Well, TLO family, have your say in the comments! Who would you start, bench, and sell?