Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has rated his side’s prospects of signing a new midfielder on transfer deadline day after revealing Jordan Henderson is the latest Reds star to succumb to injury.
The 2022 Premier League runners-up were forced to dig deep to secure a win over Newcastle, Fabio Carvalho firing home a dramatic injury-time winner to mark the end of his teenage years. His fierce volley went in off the underside of the bar to earn the three points – and Klopp could not resist a little jibe at Newcastle following the result.
Truth be told though, Newcastle were unfortunate not to get anything from the match. Their manager Eddie Howe will understandably be frustrated, having led through Alexander Isak’s smart finish.
The Reds started the game with a midfield three of Harvey Elliott, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson. Curtis Jones was back on the bench alongside James Milner. But Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita still remain sidelined.
Liverpool’s midfielder issues have been well documented and Klopp recently admitted his plan to try and add another body. However, Fabrizio Romano has ruled two big-name options out the equation.
Those plans will seemingly accelerate on deadline day with Klopp confirming Henderson is the latest to suffer an injury.
The Reds skipper was forced off after 71 minutes, with Klopp admitting he’s suffered a hamstring strain.
“We have another problem with Hendo. He left after feeling his hamstring, that is obviously not helpful,” Klopp told BT Sport.
With time ticking on Liverpool’s search, Klopp is not optimistic a solution will be found.
“I don’t think so,” Klopp said on a possible midfield arrival. “But as long as there’s time we should not close the door completely.
“Obviously Hendo’s hamstring [injury] is not helpful.”
Konraid Laimer approach rejected
Questioned on the severity, Klopp added: “That serious that he couldn’t carry on.”
One man Liverpool tried to bring to Anfield, it’s now emerged, is RB Leipzig star Konrad Laimer.
The Austrian is regarded as one of the Bundesliga’s elite midfielders and has been tipped to join Bayern Munich this summer.
However, that move has not been forthcoming and now Sky Deutschland reporter Florian Plettenberg claims Liverpool’s approach for the star has failed.
The amount that Liverpool offered is not known, though Leipzig ruled out his sale at this late stage of the window.
The midfielder, though, will be a free agent come next summer and is expected to secure a move overseas in early next year. Laimer will be eligible to sign a pre-contract agreement overseas from January 1. As such, Liverpool will reportedly come back in for the player in early 2023.
Laimer has already informed Leipzig of his unwillingness to sign a new deal. And despite the threat of losing him for free, the Bundesliga side decided against his sale this summer.
Watching developments unfold at Anfield, Steve McManaman is adamant the Reds should not dip into the market despite the Jordan Henderson setback.
He feels that, while they do have midfield issues, players will soon return and get back to speed.
McManaman urges Liverpool against signing despite Jordan Henderson blow
Furthermore, he reckons any arrival now will be something of a stop-gap solution only. In addition, he fears any new signing will hinder the development of three of the club’s bright young stars.
“This time next year I think they will buy midfielders,” McManaman told BT Sport. “That goes without saying. Naby Keita is on a free in the summer, James Milner isn’t getting any younger. I think something will be done this year.
“It’s just about whether he wanted to get anything done this summer at all. But Curtis Jones is back, Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho done well the other day so I think they can cope.
“It’s a busy period coming forward but I think he because he can split through the team he’s happy to split.
“I think it was Curtis Jones then it was Harvey Elliott. To be fair Carvalho has come on and done really well in the cameo appearances he’s got. I think if he does bring someone in, it stops the development of those players.
“They’re going to be inconsistent, we know that, they’re young kids but if you want them to improve and be first-team players you have to give them the opportunity to play.”
While McManaman has a point, a move for Laimer would have made sense. If he’s a Reds target and they intend to sign him next summer, there was certainly no harm in trying to poach him now.
Perhaps if Liverpool had acted a fortnight ago, the outcome may have been different. But for now, Leipzig are well within their right to reject all approaches at this late stage of the window.
Dietmar Hamann, meanwhile, reckons Liverpool should make a maverick move to bring in a Newcastle midfielder before the window closes.