Jurgen Klopp has earned widespread praise for steering Liverpool back to the top of the Premier League, and two remarkable statistics shed light on his adept handling of squad rotation.
A mere 12 months ago, Liverpool seemed a mere shadow of their former selves as they slipped out of the Champions League places for the first time since 2016. Questions loomed over Klopp’s ability to rejuvenate the team, but in less than a year, he has orchestrated a complete turnaround in the club’s fortunes.
This season, competing on multiple fronts has necessitated Klopp to leverage the depth within his squad, and he has excelled, especially in domestic cups and European competitions.
In the 2023/24 campaign, Liverpool leads the Premier League in goals scored or assisted by substitutes, boasting an impressive 30 goal involvements from players coming off the bench.
Addressing a previous criticism regarding his use of substitutions last season, Klopp has demonstrated a refined approach this campaign, showcasing a keen understanding of when and how to introduce impactful changes.
Moreover, Klopp has made the most alterations to his starting XI and personnel tweaks during matches compared to any other Premier League manager, accumulating 185 and 136 changes, respectively. Despite these frequent adjustments, Liverpool ranks lowest in terms of players used in the top flight, with just 23 players having featured so far. This illustrates that minutes have been distributed fairly without an excessive reliance on a large squad.
Klopp strategically assembled a ‘midweek’ team during the early stages of the season for the League Cup and Europa League, and this approach has not hindered Liverpool’s success. The team remains in contention for four trophies, with the League Cup and Europa League campaigns still underway.
Injuries have necessitated adjustments in the squad, but Klopp’s success in utilizing his first team and extracting the best from his senior players is undeniable. As Liverpool heads into January, the possibility of securing four trophies remains, with Klopp’s rotation strategy proving to be a key factor in the team’s success.