Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has explained why Jurgen Klopp does not need to bring in one of the best players in the world as he already has a top-class star in his ranks capable of doing a similar job.
Liverpool are close to making Alexis Mac Allister their first summer signing. On Monday, Fabrizio Romano revealed they had come to a full agreement with the Brighton star on personal terms. Mac Allister is ready to pen a five-year contract at Anfield and will soon undergo a medical.
Reports have previously claimed Liverpool could have to spend as much as £60-70million on the midfielder. However, in a major boost for Klopp, Romano has revealed that they will actually only have to part with less than £45m to complete the deal. As such, the Liverpool hierarchy view the move as a potential ‘bargain’.
Liverpool were quoted at over £100m for previous target Jude Bellingham, which is why they cooled their interest in him and instead went after Mac Allister. Spending under £45m on Mac Allister should save enough money for Klopp to bring in another midfielder, such as Khephren Thuram or Manu Kone. Liverpool have held talks with the agents of those two players, while they also like the look of Spanish talent Gabri Veiga.
Carragher believes Liverpool might not need Bellingham in their midfield anyway as right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold can step up next season and continue being a creative force higher up the pitch.
Klopp has played Alexander-Arnold in a hybrid midfield-defence role towards the end of this season and has liked what he has seen, so it appears the tactic will continue.
Carragher has praised the 24-year-old and likened him to a potential £100m signing. “I think his body language when he’s in midfield, compared to when he’s just been playing full-back, is completely different,” the pundit said in an interview with Redmen TV (via Liverpool Echo).
“It feels like I’m watching a faster, more energetic player. I see some of the passes he plays from midfield and no matter who we buy – even if we bought Jude Bellingham – how much more could he do than what he [Alexander-Arnold] does in midfield?
Jamie Carragher lauds Trent Alexander-Arnold impact
“I’m not sure, whoever you buy, whether you spend £100m on anyone, they can do much more than Trent. I think another season I’d be of the mind of saying ‘Let’s buy a right-back and put him in midfield’, because this kid is too good to not be the centre of this team. It’s his team.
“It is getting to the stage now where he is getting more mature and it will eventually become his team. He will end up being the captain. Take away the stuff he gets criticised for, which at times it is not great. He can improve on stuff, although he’ll never be amazing at it, so let’s focus on what he is amazing at. He’s amazing at that [midfield role], so leave him.”
Carragher added that Alexander-Arnold should be able to contribute more goals if he is allowed to stay up more often.
“The one thing he has never been able to do from full-back is score goals. We’ve seen it from free-kicks, but I actually think if he was in midfield permanently and didn’t have that thing in the back of his head of ‘When we lose the ball, I’ve got to get back there’, you would be seeing someone who could get five or six goals outside the box.”