Jamie Carragher says Liverpool have a “huge job” in reconstructing their midfield and he suggests their transfer plans could be brought forward to January.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have had a slow start to the season with just two wins from six games. They are already eight points behind the leaders Arsenal and seven points behind champions Man City.
They were also humbled against Napoli in the Champions League. And it’s Klopp’s midfield which has borne the brunt of the criticism.
It was a midfield three of Fabinho, James Milner, 36, and Harvey Elliott which was overrun in the 4-1 defeat in Naples. And with injuries biting Klopp hard, he has been left to rely on the aging Milner and rookie Elliott.
Jordan Henderson, 32, Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita have all suffered injuries and that forced Klopp’s hand. He swooped on deadline day for Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo.
But despite Klopp handing Arthur a swift debut in the defeat against Napoli, he was an unused sub against Ajax. And the Brazilian has now hired his own fitness team to get him up to speed.
Carragher does not believe that arrival will shape Klopp’s future plans and he was hopeful Liverpool would have swooped to sign a marquee midfield signing in the summer. And he has not ruled out Klopp moving his plans along and landing a big signing in January, just as they did last season with Luis Diaz.
The Reds were planning on making a move for Diaz in the summer. But interest from Spurs saw them move their plans forward and Diaz and he signed for £37m in January.
Jude Bellingham has been heavily linked with Anfield with a number of reports claiming Klopp has made him his No.1 summer target.
Liverpool midfield target Bellingham
Asked about the Bellingham links, Carragher told talkSPORT: “Well I’ve seen the links, of course. But I just hope they’re true. No one knows, do they? But there’s no doubt that Liverpool will have a huge job in the summer, or whether that’s in January, in terms of reconstructing their midfield.
“Just because of the age profile of a lot of the midfield players. And also the fact that I think there are two or three players out of contract at the end of the season. So before you ever even think about the actual quality of maybe something extra that they need, it’s obvious because of the situation the club finds itself in that they’ll need two or three midfield players in the summer.
“And if Jude Bellingham is one of them, fantastic, because he is a great player. And as I said, there’s going to be a lot of rumors between now and the end of the season with different midfield players. I just hope that one’s true.”
Henderson and Milner are both coming to the end of their Anfield careers. While Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita will be out of contract in 2023. Much will depend on how the other midfielders manage in the next few months as to how many new recruits he will need.
But if an opportunity to add a quality midfielder to the squad arises then FSG have shown they are willing to go into the January transfer market. Whether or not they would sanction a big-money signing mid-season remains to be seen.