Liverpool should unleash talented trio as Jürgen Klopp left with nothing to lose

(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Jayden Danns has enjoyed a breakout season and deserves more opportunities -Credit:(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

As Liverpool drew 2-2 against West Ham on Saturday, four players were brought on in the final 11 minutes. Mohamed Salah, Darwin Núñez, Joe Gomez and Dominik Szoboszlai all entered the game and failed to make an impact as the three-horse title race galloped to a halt. All four players looked tired and fed up; the season is mentally over for a lot of Liverpool’s first-team players whose quadruple hopes diminished long ago.

Substitutes are not Jürgen Klopp’s strong suit as of late. Despite them having a major impact earlier in the campaign, you have to go back to the start of the month to see the last time a man from the bench who altered the scoreline. This was Cody Gakpo’s headed effort against Sheffield United.

Obviously, you cannot judge a substitute's performance purely by goals and assists but the fact it is a rarity lately, especially for attacking players, to alter the scoreline is a huge problem. This issue stems from one major aspect Liverpool has lacked in recent weeks: motivation.

READ MORE: Liverpool trio 'in line for new contracts' but Reds 'braced' for Mohamed Salah transfer bid

READ MORE: Liverpool handed Arne Slot warning as Erik ten Hag comparison made amid Man Utd struggles

As mentioned, this side had its eyes on the quadruple, then the treble, then the double, and now just the Carabao Cup, which will feel underwhelming for a side that has greatly underperformed near the end of the season. Motivation is key to pushing a side forward; it wins clubs trophies and builds legacies. Without that, though, the season is fizzling out.

What about the top-four finish? A Champions League spot? Despite Klopp’s worries about securing premium European football for next season, it is clear the challengers who could swipe that position away are also falling away in the final chapter of the season. Aston Villa has had an incredible campaign but drew to Chelsea on Saturday while Tottenham, who sit in fifth, were torn apart by Arsenal at home. Liverpool essentially already has a return to the Champions League wrapped up and that will be mathematically official soon.

Without motivation, then, the final three games are set to be lackluster, with key players likely to coast. If this is the case, there is one option the club can use to its advantage. When top players do not show up, a small crack appears in the starting XI which youth aspects can just about wiggle through to show their worth.

Youth prospects such as Bobby Clark, Jayden Danns and Stefan Bajčetić will be eyeing up places in a side that cannot seem to find form as the season comes to a close. Three games remain; 270 minutes of football that does not mean a lot to first-team players with nothing to play for. These minutes could change the career of these upcoming players; a chance to impress not just Klopp but his replacement Arne Slot who will be keen to see what the club’s academy has been cooking up.

Tottenham, Aston Villa and Wolves are all tough games but without the prospect of the league title and lack of threat from below in the league table, these fixtures should be used to help progress the career of those who rarely get to impress for the first team. The likes of Clark, Bajčetić and Danns have already proven they can thrive in huge first-team games. Now is the perfect time to let them prove their worth once more and inject motivation and passion into what is a flat Liverpool side in desperate need of change.