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Origi, Minamino, Elliott? How Liverpool Could Line Up During AFCON

Now firmly into December, the African Cup of Nations glooms ever closer for Liverpool.

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita are all set to be called up for their retrospective national teams. They are expected to miss numerous games for the Reds.

Liverpool currently sit second in the table, just a point behind league leaders Manchester City, and will be hoping to keep up their good form well into the festive period.

Today's 1-0 win saw Mane and Salah both heavily involved as always. Keita, who is set to play for Guniea next month, was pictured back in individual training a few days back.

When these players do depart on international duty, there is no doubt their influence, creativity and goals will be sorely missed. However, who can be expected to take their place while they are gone?

Potential Options During AFCON

Diogo Jota

Diogo Jota has been in fine form over the past few months and will need to continue his goal input into the New Year. He has looked to already have asserted himself as a starting player and his performances will come as a massive relief to Jurgen Klopp. 

Since he arrived from Wolves, he has looked simply phenomenal for a price tag of £41 million. His performance (and that miss) against his former team was probably one to get forget, however!

Going forward, the 25-year-old could definitely become the main man at the club. On social media, his finishing has been compared to Sergio Aguero's and his dribbling his been likened to that of Luis Suarez. 

Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino is expected to return in mid-December which is a great bonus ahead of a sceptic schedule. He will need to be on fire when the African boys depart. 

Firmino, nicknamed Bobby by the Anfield faithful, has been hit or miss at times this season. With the fluidity of the other three, it has been hard for him to get momentum and a real spell of games under his belt. Bobby has scored a hattrick against Watford and has also bagged against Norwich on the opening day.

There is no doubt he is a Kop legend and will be remembered for many years to come but has Firmino seen his best days at Anfield come and go?

Takumi Minamino

Takumi Minamino has showed promising signs with positive appearances whenever called upon. The 26-year-old has linked up well while leading the line. However, he hasn't produced a whole lot of goals and needs to add to that part of his game. Who knows if AFCON could be the making of Taki and be his breakthrough finally.

After moving to Merseyside back in January 2020, it would be fair to say the Japenese international has not hit the ground running and has found it hard to adapt. Minamino produced a tiny finish against Arsenal a couple weeks ago and this could be a sign of what's to come.

IMAGO / Colorsport

Klopp has always spoken very positively about Minamino and has kept faith in him. 

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Harvey Elliott

Harvey Elliott is an interesting option for the right wing spot, although it is heavily unlikely he will be back in time despite being pictured back out on the grass. His versatility could have been very handy to have during these tight run of games. When he does fully recover from his nasty ankle fracture sustained in September, you can be sure he'll be back in the mix.

The 18-year-old made his competitive debut for Fulham at just 15-years-old and has continually been dubbed as the next big thing. 

After a successful loan spell at Blackburn last season, Klopp has showed immense trust in Elliott and everyone at LFC has spoken about his maturity and dedication on and off the pitch.

Jurgen Klopp Harvey Elliott

Divock Origi

He's inevitable, isn't he?

The last real option - Divock Origi. 

In the summer, Origi's time at the club looked set to be coming to an end.

But just when Liverpool need him, he seems to always come in clutch. After bagging himself his second goal of the season and the winner against Wolves, Origi does look like a decent option for Liverpool in the coming weeks. 

His versatility allows him to play on the left as well as down the middle as the out and out number nine. He will definitely get game time with the FA Cup starting up in January and also could make further appearances in the league. He is still only 26-years-old. 

Divock Origi

Klopp could also test Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right wing or even go with a youngster such as Kaide Gordon or Layton Stewart.

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