The transfer window opens next week and former Reds defender Jamie Carragher believes Jurgen Klopp needs to bring at least four players into a Liverpool squad that lacks the physical presence needed in the Premier League.
Liverpool have two games left before the end of the calendar year, starting at home to Leicester City on Saturday, Boxing Day, and will be looking to try and bury the memories of Sunday’s trip to Watford and that 3-0 defeat. The end of the year also signals the start of the January transfer window and a chance for new manager Jurgen Klopp to add some of his own players to the squad he inherited from Brendan Rodgers. According to the former Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher, it’s a squad that isn’t able to copy physically with the demands of the Premier League.
Speaking on Sky’s Monday Night Football, Carra was responding to a question about which was the most important position for Liverpool to strengthen.
“I think there’s more than one,” he said.
The defeat against Watford brought to mind some similar situations from Liverpool’s past for Jamie: “Yesterday’s performance and result will be in his mind for the rest of the season and it reminds me of Houllier and Benitez in their first season,” Carra said.
“The teams they inherited weren’t able to cope physically with the Premier League and this Liverpool team isn’t,” stated Jamie, who heads down under in February for a tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Rafa and Gerard responded by dipping into the transfer market, Jamie recalled: “What they did was, both bought a keeper, both bought a holding midfield player, Benitez got Crouch, 6 foot 7 at the front, and Houllier bought two centre-backs.”
How does that map onto the challenge facing Jurgen Klopp at Anfield today? “If I was Klopp – thinking what Klopp will be thinking,” Jamie explained, “I’d be thinking: ‘Goalkeeper, two centre backs and a holding midfield player,’ because, forget the City and Chelsea results, you play the top teams once a month, there’s only four or five of them.”
The Reds beat Chelsea 3-1 away and Manchester 4-1, also away, but have come unstuck in their last two away league matches, Watford’s 3-0 win following on from a 2-0 triumph for Newcastle at St James’s Park.
“Newcastle, Watford, they’re the teams you play week in week out and I think they’ll be a major shock to Jurgen Klopp,” Jamie added.
“This is what the Premier League’s like and Liverpool haven’t got the players to cope in those games.”
Meet Liverpool Legend Jamie in Australia and New Zealand in February at shows in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Wellington. Tickets on sale now at 5times.co.uk/aus.