No one would have foreseen the volume of changes taking place all in one summer at Liverpool just a couple of months ago. A year after Jürgen Klopp publicly questioned what type of midfielder his squad was lacking, almost all of the options have moved on.
Since then, of course, Alexis Mac Allister and then Dominik Szoboszlai have both been signed and more midfielders will need to be added to the group to reach the levels that Liverpool desires this summer, with Fabinho and Jordan Henderson needing to be replaced when their exits are confirmed.
But while Liverpool searches for more incomings, one midfield option that already exists at Anfield should not be overlooked as Klopp seeks to shape his team and cover enough bases.
In Cody Gakpo, a player most thought would come in as a winger when he signed from PSV in January, Liverpool has another option to play as a number eight who has proven himself capable of performing to a very high level in that role.
For Gakpo to get minutes in an attacking midfield position, however, two things need to happen. Firstly, Liverpool needs to have Luis Díaz and Diogo Jota available when for much of last season, they were not.
For that to become a regular thing, though, it would also require Darwin Núñez to take the next steps in his development. A scorer in that Karlsruher fixture, the Uruguayan has a big season ahead of him.
If Núñez is performing well and has integrated into the team then that would mean Liverpool having three players who can operate as the number nine battling for just one place. Jota, Gakpo and Núñez can all play off the left, but their best role is central.
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In that case, it would be feasible for Gakpo to play as a midfielder and one of Núñez or Jota to be used as a substitute off the bench, helping alleviate what looks, as things stand, to be a midfield light of options. In theory, Alexis Mac Allister could be the deepest midfielder, with Dominik Szoboszlai and Gakpo ahead of him.
Of course, Liverpool will bring in more midfielders before the new season begins. That is simply a must. But will those players, signed less than three weeks before the opening fixture of the campaign, be able to make an instant impact? It remains to be seen and will depend on the identity and experience level of those stars.
Not every Liverpool player will always be fully fit and available, but with so many attacking options, Klopp has a challenge coming to fit them all in. That is an exciting test and challenge for the Reds' boss to solve, and moving Gakpo back could be a perfect solution.
There is much for Liverpool still to work out this summer but using Gakpo as a midfielder is something that should certainly be on the table — but only if those in front make that possible. Given Jota and Díaz's quality is already proven, the big question is Núñez.
Clearly, after an opening season that saw the 24-year-old South American score 15 times, there is a good base point from which Liverpool's number nine can kick on again. The fact he was handed that squad number this summer is a big vote of confidence.
But as much as it is important for Núñez to prove his worth as Liverpool's record signing for his own sake, if he does ignite this coming season and start scoring with the regularity that saw the Reds commit an initial $83m (£64m/€75m) on his signature, that will unlock Gakpo in an exciting new role as well.