Liverpool’s switch to three at the back has seen a remarkable upturn in form that shows no sign of stopping.
The Reds have started 2015 in such fine fettle that there is every chance they will end the campaign in the top four, with a FA Cup victory still a distinct possibility despite the need for a quarter-final replay.
It takes a brave manager to transform a side’s formation midway through a season, but it has worked so well that one wonders if we are seeing the start of a bright new area at Anfield.
A number of different players have been used in recent times, but the common consensus is that Emre Can, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho are the most effective trio.
The only problem is, with Steven Gerrard soon to move on and Can’s ability as a midfielder, Liverpool could really do with the former Bayer Leverkusen man in the centre.
With doubts remaining over Dejan Lovren’s effectiveness and with Kolo Toure’s contract coming to an end, manager Brendan Rodgers may have some tough decisions to make in the close-season. But there is a young player who could solve the problem, or at the very least act as a worthy back-up for the three senior centre-backs likely to remain at Anfield beyond the summer.
Tiago Ilori is yet to make his senior debut for Liverpool despite arriving at the same time as Sakho, but the 22-year-old could now be ready to step up.
Loan spells at Granada and Bordeaux have helped him develop and his recent performances for the French side will not have gone unnoticed.
In Ilori’s last four Ligue 1 appearances, Bordeaux have won two and drawn two, conceding just two goals in the process.
Liverpool are not afraid to give young players a chance, and have been rewarded by doing so could the young defender be the next player to step up and show what he can do for Rodgers’ senior side?