Premier League • England

Carragher pinpoints position Liverpool will need summer upgrade for if duo don’t improve

Jamie Carragher, February 2023

Jamie Carragher speaking on Sky Sports

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has highlighted the left wing role as a potential area of concern for Jurgen Klopp’s side as their attack continues its evolution.

Much of the focus on how Liverpool needed to transform their squad in the summer of 2023 related to their midfield. In turn, all four players they signed in the most recent transfer market were to play in that territory.

But they will be keen not to get themselves in a similar situation – whereby they had to overhaul almost a whole position in one go – with other areas of their squad.

With that in mind, Liverpool have been urged to think about the long-term of their defence. But their attack is also something to keep an eye on.

According to Carragher, Liverpool’s front three is not as dependable as it once was. Specifically, their options on the left-hand side are not fully convincing.

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“Looking at Liverpool’s front three, there’s something not right about it,” Carragher told the Gary Neville Podcast.

“[Cody] Gakpo has been here for nearly 12 months and he’s had flashes but nowhere near enough.

“[Luis] Diaz looks a shadow of himself after his knee injuries last season.

“I really feel that Diaz needs to have a good second half of the season otherwise Liverpool will be going into the market in the summer on the left-hand side.

“It just feels that with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino going, they haven’t replaced them in terms of quality.”

Who will nail down Liverpool place?

Liverpool’s attack picked itself when they were on course to winning the Champions League in 2019 and Premier League in 2020. Mohamed Salah started regularly on the right, Firmino down the middle and Mane on the left.

Since Mane’s sale to Bayern Munich in 2022 and Firmino’s release to Al-Ahli in 2023, though, Liverpool have been modifying their attack.

Diaz joined in January 2022 from Porto and Gakpo followed (from PSV) 12 months later.

It has been a turbulent few months for the former, mainly for off-the-field reasons relating to the kidnapping (and eventual recovery) of his father.

On the pitch, he will now hope to put a string of performances together more reminiscent of the form he first showed after his arrival at Anfield.

But it is hard to say who Liverpool’s first-choice left winger definitely is, which is a dilemma Klopp rarely had at the club until Mane left.

Most clubs in the world would love to have players of the quality of Diaz and Gakpo – or Diogo Jota – but if Liverpool are to aim as high as possible, perhaps they will need someone to cement their place in the team as a regular starter once and for all.

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