Where will Mohamed Salah fit in at Liverpool next season?

Philippe Coutinho & Mohamed Salah

Provided they get past their play-off tie at the beginning of next season, Liverpool will be playing Champions League football for the first time since 2014-15.

There are clear signs of improvement under Jurgen Klopp, however, in a season where they had no European football whatsoever, they only just held on to one of those top four places.

The Anfield club finished fourth in the Premier League, a single point above fifth-placed Arsenal, but it’s worth remembering that this was Klopp’s first full season in charge.

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Liverpool have to bolster their squad this summer to have any serious chance of competing on all fronts next term, and the first big arrival looks set to be Mohamed Salah.

The Reds are close to finalising the transfer of the Roma star, who is undergoing a medical, in a deal worth around £34 million, but where will he fit into Klopp’s starting XI? Let’s take a look.

Salah’s 2016-17 campaign

Salah, who’s been at Roma since 2015, recorded extremely impressive figures last season, scoring 19 goals and providing 12 assists for the side which finished runners-up to Juventus.

That included 15 goals in 31 Serie A appearances, and the only wingers to better that tally were Keita Balde Diao, Alejandro Gomez and Napoli starlet Lorenzo Insigne.

Pescara Calcio v AS Roma - Serie A

The 25-year-old, who scored more goals than any Liverpool player this term and finished with the second-most assists (11) in Italy’s top-flight, possesses unbelievable pace.

In addition to that, the ex-Chelsea man is mobile, skilful, has good dribbling, technical qualities, an eye for goal and offers the high work ethic which Klopp demands from his attackers.

Where will Salah fit in at Liverpool?

Salah’s best performances for Roma have come off the right-wing in a 4-3-3 system, where he can cut inside from the flank and onto his preferred left foot.

AS Roma v Atalanta BC - Serie A

A potential issue with regards to getting the best out of the Egyptian is that Liverpool’s current first-choice right-winger is Sadio Mane, and he enjoyed an outstanding debut year at the club.

The 25-year-old moved to Merseyside from Southampton last summer for £34 million, registering 13 goals and five assists in 29 games.

Mane could move into a central position to accommodate Salah, with Philippe Coutinho on the left, but if the Senegal star retains his place on the right, Salah would have to play on the left.

Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

If that were the case, there could be a situation where Mane and Salah are on each flank, Roberto Firmino is the centre-forward and Coutinho moves slightly deeper.

The immensely gifted Brazilian ended last season operating as a number eight, in one of those two advanced central midfield roles, and he looked very comfortable.

A change in formation?

All the options discussed so far assume a 4-3-3 formation, but of course, there is a chance that Klopp may revert to the system which brought him success at Borussia Dortmund – 4-2-3-1.

West Ham United v Liverpool - Premier League

This change could give rise to the fluid, potentially devastating front four of Salah on the right-hand side, star man Coutinho on the left, with Mane more central and Firmino up front.

That would mean just two of Emre Can, captain Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and England Player of the Year Adam Lallana could play in the centre of midfield.

Salah has sometimes (yet rarely) played as a second striker too (akin to a number ten), but his most effective position is without doubt anywhere on the right wing.

Endless possibilities?

The key question to ask is whether or not Klopp would consider playing a big new acquisition somewhere other than their most preferred position.

AS Roma v US Sassuolo - Serie A

One thing that everyone can agree on is that Liverpool would have so many more possibilities in terms of how they deploy their attacking talents were they to sign Salah this summer.

The deal should be completed very soon, and if the Reds want to become genuine title challengers again, he is certainly the calibre of player they should be targeting.

Where do YOU think Salah should play for Liverpool if he joins this summer? Leave YOUR opinion in the comments box below!

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