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Mo Salah's right problem offered hope by returning solution

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The Champions League, the Super Cup, the Club World Cup and now, the Premier League.

Liverpool's dominance over the course of the past 18 months suggests that the club is experiencing a relatively healthy period, but progression never stops. The dynamics of the squad will continue to be assessed moving forward, with Michael Edwards - the club's sporting director - and Jürgen Klopp evaluating what can be done in order to add to the tools that the German has at his disposal ahead of next season.



Liverpool's right side should be high on the agenda, with Xherdan Shaqiri appearing likely to depart at the end of the campaign. The Swiss international is now 28 years-old and he's accumulated a total of just 250 minutes in all competitions this season. He presented Klopp with the option of using 4-2-3-1 last year and he's been a useful signing considering his contributions for around £13m.



As a left-footed player, Shaqiri offered an alternative option to Mohamed Salah on the right of Liverpool's attack. Aside from Shaqiri and his Egyptian teammate, each of the other attackers at Anfield are right-footed.



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So how could Liverpool's right side shape up if the Swiss forward does depart?

Salah is almost certain to remain where he is. He's one of the most valuable forwards in the world, his output appears as consistent as ever and he turned 28 years-old two weeks ago. The same applies to Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back with the exception that he's just 21 years-old and unlike Salah, the Scouse full-back has a suitable replacement. Neco Williams isn't yet truly developed at 19-years-old but whenever he's represented the red jersey for Klopp, he's showcased his offensive potential.

How Liverpool's right side could shape up next season

In midfield, Jordan Henderson remains integral to the right of Liverpool's trio. He's 30 years-old, though, and as he matures further, there is the possibility of him becoming a player in the mould of James Milner who can effectively play anywhere when required. Less minutes for Henderson is likely to result in more for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is four years younger and seems to have overcome his injury problems. The 26 year-old is also applicable to covering for Salah, although he's right-footed and less inclined to deliver goals and assists for the Reds.

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His preferred foot impacts his interpretation of the role, as rather than driving inwards towards goal before shooting, a right-footed player who is playing on the right flank would instead be naturally inclined to carry the ball in the direction of the byline before crossing. If Edwards and his recruitment team fail to identify an applicable solution in the transfer market, then perhaps Harry Wilson could operate as a temporary problem-solver.

The Welshman has spent time on loan at Hull City, Derby County and more recently, Bournemouth. Crucially, though, he's left-footed and although he's not as quick or as threatening as Salah, he could be useful from the bench and as a rotation option. The quality of Liverpool's attack would diminish somewhat, but at least the Reds would still be free to attack as they usually do.

Liverpool's most used system in the Premier League this season alongside passing sonars for each player

It is also worth noting that Harvey Elliott - who appears to have bags of potential - is another left-footed attacking player, although he's just 17 years-old meaning that it's probably too early for him to be recognised as Salah's backup.

In the short-term, Liverpool's right side is almost certain to remain unchanged. Salah, Henderson and Alexander-Arnold are all established, while Oxlade-Chamberlain and Williams are two competent deputies. The task at hand relates to who will occupy the Salah role when the Egyptian is absent. Wilson, Elliott, or will Edwards and Klopp find an answer from elsewhere?

Creative and efficient squad management will be imperative for clubs to remain competitive in the coming months but unlike most, that behaviour is exactly what Liverpool have practised for a number of years. The majority will have to operate outside of their comfort zone to fill squad voids. Meanwhile, the Reds will feel right at home.


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