Premier League • England

Carragher drops theory on why Liverpool swerved star that’s tearing up Premier League

Jamie Carragher, February 2023

Jamie Carragher speaking on Sky Sports

Jamie Carragher has explained the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal may have decided against signing Tottenham star James Maddison because of “what he does not do”.

Liverpool did not have the best summer all things considered. They lost crucial players such as Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.

They then spent the majority of the window trying – and largely failing – to replace the latter pair.

While they had the signings of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai in place early on, the Reds lost five midfielders in the summer, so desperately needed to recruit more.

But their attempts to sign their top targets Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia both went up in smoke. They had agreed a £110million deal in place with Brighton for the former, but he ripped that to shreds when he told Liverpool he only wanted Chelsea.

Lavia then also opted for the Stamford Bridge outfit, but not before the Reds had attempted to over pay for him in their state of desperation.

That left them with Wataru Endo, who while not a bad signing, is not the level of star they wanted.

Another transfer misstep is the decision not to sign Maddison, who went to Tottenham after reports of interest from a lot of big names.

Carragher explains Liverpool transfer miss

Former Liverpool man Carragher has detailed why he thinks the Reds and other big sides decided not to properly pursue him.

“His throwback style extends to his on-field role. With the utmost respect to Maddison and Spurs, it explains why his options during the summer did not include Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool,” he told The Telegraph.

“I have no doubt all watched him for Leicester and at some point over the last three years considered signing him. The reason they said no is because Maddison’s most effective position is unfashionable for elite coaches.

“My suspicion is that [Pep] Guardiola, [Jurgen] Klopp, Mikel Arteta and Mauricio Pochettino took a look at Maddison and were swayed more by what he does not do more than his qualities.”

Carragher also explained that Liverpool have been better without the style of player that Maddison is over the past few years.

“Jurgen Klopp inherited a number 10 in Philippe Coutinho, but it was only after the Brazilian left Anfield that the team became more balanced and Liverpool won the biggest trophies,” Carragher added.

Their loss is Tottenham’s gain

No matter how other sides play, Tottenham are thriving because they’ve got Maddison in their side. They were missing a creative midfielder like him last season, and they’re better for having him in the side this term.

Indeed, in seven games in all competitions he’s provided four assists and scored twice. The north London outfit are also currently unbeaten in the Premier League, and sit fourth in the table.

Even though other sides play a different style of football, Maddison could have added another element to them as he has for Spurs.

They’ve all missed out because of that, while Tottenham are in a great position.

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