Carragher claims Liverpool ‘not a Jurgen Klopp team’ as damning comparison and shocking midfield fact highlight stagnation
Jamie Carragher has claimed Liverpool no longer look like a “Jurgen Klopp team” after emphatically questioning their recruiters – especially when it comes to their midfield.
Liverpool’s first game of January may have served as a reminder that they might need to utilise the current transfer window to reinforce their squad. They suffered a shock 3-1 defeat to Brentford, which raised further questions of their ability to finish in the top four.
Klopp’s side have suffered from inconsistency this season, which has been a stark contrast to the previous campaign in which they fought well on four fronts, succeeding in two.
One of the main parts of Liverpool’s squad that has come under scrutiny is their midfield. Right now, it is hard to identify what the department might look like even in the near future.
The midfielders currently at Klopp’s disposal are Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, James Milner, Naby Keita, Harvey Elliott, Arthur Melo, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones, Stefan Bajcetic and Fabio Carvalho.
However, Milner, Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain are out of contract at the end of the season, by which time Arthur’s loan spell from Juventus will be over too.
In addition to Milner, Henderson and Thiago are both in their 30s now. At the other end of the spectrum, Elliott, Jones, Carvalho and Bajcetic are still in the early stages of their careers.
Furthermore, Fabinho has suffered from a decline in form this season, which Carragher has pointed out before.
Now, the former Liverpool defender has highlighted the wider issue again. Speaking after the loss to Brentford, Carragher claimed his old club have “no chance” of qualifying for the Champions League without signing another midfielder.
To emphasise his point, Carragher reminded of their minimal focus on their midfield in recent transfer windows, before comparing their stagnation to what Arsenal went through towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s reign.
Most alarmingly of all, Carragher suggested that it appears Liverpool’s squad has not been constructed with Klopp in mind.
Carragher says Liverpool midfield ‘running on fumes’
Carragher told Sky Sports: “How’s this been allowed to happen? If Liverpool think they can get top four without signing a midfielder, they’ve got absolutely no chance.
“Liverpool have bought one midfield player in four-and-a-half years and it’s coming back to haunt them now.
“It reminds of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal that never won again when it turned too technical. I don’t know if it’s something to do with Pep Lijnders who has a big influence.
“Thiago for me is not a problem if the other two are high energy and working. Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho don’t look like Jurgen Klopp players. It’s not a Jurgen Klopp team and I want to know why.
“Liverpool’s midfield is running on fumes. One midfielder signed in four-and-a-half years. Liverpool’s transfer people have been lauded as the best in world football. No midfielder signed in the last two windows – this is on them.
“Liverpool look like they are trying to play the Jurgen Klopp way but without Jurgen Klopp players. Liverpool are like a normal team pressing but still play with a high line. Naby Keita isn’t for me and isn’t good enough.”
There have been various rumours regarding who Liverpool might add to their midfield in 2023. It will be interesting to see which links actually come to fruition.
Whatever happens, though, it seems obvious that Liverpool’s midfield needs new life.
There are some players with potential there, but they need to learn their trade playing alongside teammates in their prime. At the moment, Liverpool do not have that.
Hence, Carragher’s concerns are legitimate.
READ MORE: Liverpool plotting move for £44million Prem struggler as ‘commitment’ could see them snatch summer signing