5 Sep 2016

'Incredible': Boss raves over 'obsessive' Liverpool star; claims he's one Klopp's 'hardest working' players

Last season, Liverpool midfielder Kevin Stewart finally made a successful transition into the Liverpool first team, and according to Academy Director Alex Inglethorpe, Stewart is the perfect 'role model' young players at Anfield.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo over the weekend, Inglethorpe hailed Stewart for his 'humble' character, and enthused:

“Kev is one of the hardest working players I’ve ever worked with. He’s obsessive about getting better. His desire to improve is incredible. He tends to out-work most others [and] he’s only going to improve, given the chance".

The key phrase here is 'given the chance', and with Can, Wijnaldum, and Henderson in the squad, it's unlikely that Klopp will give Stewart a consistent chance to make the defensive-midfield position his own.

In my view, if Can is not available, Stewart should be played as a DM, and if that means one of either Henderson or Wijnaldum has to miss out, then so be it. The England method of shoehorning all the best players into the team (even if it means playing them out of position) is not a sustainable strategy, and a we've seen already this season, it leads to costly imbalances in the team.

It's perfectly possible to fit Wijnaldum, Henderson, and Stewart into the same team, it just means - shock horror - playing Wijnaldum as an attacking midfielder, which, throughout his career, has proven to be his best (and most frequently occupied) position.

If Klopp refuses to sign a dedicated DM, then he surely has to utilise existing playing assets for the benefit of the team, and for me, that means:

* Converting Emre Can into a full-time DM, and prioritising the coaching of positional-discipline (and breeding out the hero complex).

* Playing Lucas or Stewart as a DM whenever (if Can is injured/rested etc)



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