Liverpool overturned a one-goal deficit to beat Wolves on Saturday afternoon in their fifth Premier League game, with Dominik Szoboszlai and Curtis Jones among those who performed much better after the break.
Before Jordan Henderson departed Liverpool, he denied that wholesale changes were coming. It was evolution, not revolution, he had essentially insisted, at the time presumably believing that he would play a major part. But that was before he was snapped up by Saudi Arabia, alongside Fabinho.
Having lost the likes of James Milner and Naby Keïta as well, it soon became clear that this was a big change that Liverpool was undergoing.
Never before had so many players left and so many midfielders arrived. Before the Reds’ win over Wolves, Jürgen Klopp described it as ‘Liverpool Reloaded’.
It is clear that he and his coaching staff are rejuvenated and up for the challenge of creating the next great Liverpool team.
After Hansi Flick was fired, the Germany job became vacant during the international break, but while that might one day appeal, it never felt likely that Liverpool would be fearful of an approach. Klopp is ready for the next phase at Anfield.
That was shown again during the win at Wolves. It would be disingenuous to describe that as anything like the kind of football that Liverpool wants to play after a first half that was as bad as many an away day last season. But equally, Liverpool deserves some credit for the turnaround that it oversaw.
Last season, it would have been hard to argue that the Reds’ midfield would be able to change things up after an opening 45 minutes as bad as that.
This time, the jetlagged Alexis Mac Allister was hooked and Dominik Szoboszlai and Curtis Jones instructed to play deeper, forming a double pivot.
With players like Szoboszlai and Jones in midfield rather than Henderson and Fabinho, Liverpool would always have fancied itself to score at least once.
Cody Gakpo did little else while on the pitch other than poke in an equalizer, but that was the instigator for the three points being secured.
While there are many issues that need resolving — chiefly the lethargic start to the match and the lack of defensive authority shown by Joël Matip, in particular — it is promising that Liverpool did not simply cave in.
Wolves’ players were penned in during the second half and Liverpool showed the kind of dominance that was required to force a victory.
That kind of strength and resolve was commonplace during the peak of the old Liverpool but was glaringly missing last season when Klopp’s men too often wilted.
Mac Allister, when he has caught up on sleep, alongside the likes of Szoboszlai and Jones, will offer a different level of ability when it comes to taking charge and snapping out of a difficult spot.
Clearly, Liverpool will not want to have to come from behind too many more times. Already, the Reds have had to do so against both Newcastle United and Wolves.
But it is tough to make the case that either result would have happened during January or February of last year, when the midfield was the cause of the issues.
This time, the changes there were the start of the solution, with ‘Liverpool Reloaded’ showing plenty of differences compared to the previous edition.