Jude Bellingham $54m Liverpool 'partner' just made life 'twice as difficult' for Jürgen Klopp - ednews.net

2 April,

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Jude Bellingham $54m Liverpool 'partner' just made life 'twice as difficult' for Jürgen Klopp

Liverpool has an ambitious plan for a midfield refresh, involving Jude Bellingham and a $54m partner, the latter of whom just made Jürgen Klopp's life harder.

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With his side locked in a Premier League relegation battle, Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui opted to make seven changes for Tuesday night's FA Cup replay against Liverpool.
Only four players — goalkeeper José Sá, defender Nathan Collins and midfielders Rúben Neves and João Moutinho — kept their places from last weekend's 1-0 victory over West Ham United.
But with Wolves trailing to Harvey Elliott's goal, Lopetegui progressively sent on the cavalry. Daniel Podence, Matheus Cunha, Diego Costa and Nelson Semedo all entered the fray, as did Matheus Nunes.
Liverpool fans would no doubt have been watching Nunes closely, having read a report this week from Paul Joyce of The Times that Jürgen Klopp wants to sign him to play with Jude Bellingham in a midfield revamp. But how did he play?
Well, first and foremost, Nunes was heavily involved. He recorded 55 touches, enough to rank him fifth in the Wolves team even though he only played 45 minutes.
He was successful with 28 (or 82 per cent) of the 34 passes he attempted, and five of his eight long balls. Only Neves (22) and Toti (eight) completed more on the night.
The Portuguese also delivered two accurate crosses and pitched in with three tackles, both of which were joint-team highs.
It wasn't perfect from a statistical point of view, though. He only won four of his nine ground duels, losing a couple to 18-year-old Liverpool midfielder Stefan Bajčetić, and gave up possession 11 times overall, a large number for one half of football.
Watching footage of Nunes' display, there are nonetheless a few standout moments. Wolves established control of the game in the second period, with Liverpool dropping back, and so his task was principally to progress the ball, sustain pressure and help his side create chances.
The 25-year-old functioned as a playmaker in a number of different ways. Klopp is well aware that defensive skills can create openings, and he saw Nunes produce an excellent tackle on Naby Keïta leading to a chance for Adama Traoré.
His aforementioned long passing was also a key weapon. At one point, he beat the Liverpool press by sweeping the ball out to fellow substitute Semedo first time, releasing his compatriot into space.
He also looked to switch play, no doubt aware that this has been a fruitful strategy against a disorganized Liverpool defense this season. He could look right to left for Rayan Aït-Nouri or left to right for Traoré, isolating him against Kostas Tsimikas.


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