Jamie Carragher is adamant that Liverpool can still challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title this season, but admits they need to pull off two big signings before the window shuts on Friday to have a realistic chance.
The Merseysiders have been City’s major rivals in recent years but a drop-off in standards for Jurgen Klopp’s side last season saw them finish a distant fifth. That means that Liverpool will this season compete in the Europa League for the first time since the 2015/16 season.
In order to try and revitalise his squad, Klopp has this summer made three transfers in midfield. Dominik Szoboszlai looks the pick of that bunch, having already illustrated his class. Now the Reds will also hope fellow new boys Alexis Mac Allister and Waturu Endo also soon find their feet.
But Liverpool are still hoping to add another midfielder to their mix before the window shuts. Links to Ryan Gravenberch, Cheick Doucoure and, perhaps most prominently Kouadio Kone continue to linger. Indeed, one Bundesliga expert expects a move for the Borussia Monchengladbach man to go through this week in the wake of a major price reduction.
The Reds also went into the summer window on the hunt for a new defender. Perhaps unfortunately, Liverpool’s need for midfielders has seen Klopp take his eyes off the ball in that department.
Their top target was Josko Gvardiol, but a powerless Liverpool had to sit back and let Pep Guardiola sign the Croatian from RB Leipzig virtually unchallenged.
However, if Liverpool are to return to their best and once again become City’s main rivals, Carragher reckons they need two big signings this week to give their fortunes another lift.
Carragher urges Liverpool to make two signings this week
With the window due to close at 11pm on Friday, Carragher knows time is of the essense.
“Liverpool have been Manchester City’s biggest rivals for the last four or five years, and Arsenal came to the fore last season,” Carragher told Sky Sports. “But why can’t Liverpool be that team again this season? The squad that Liverpool have right now isn’t good enough to challenge Manchester City, but they’ve got to go for it in the transfer market this week in terms of bringing in another defender and midfielder.
“That has to happen because Liverpool can still be the biggest rivals to Manchester City. They’ve made a decent start to the season, but when you’ve got someone like Alisson – a world-class goalkeeper, maybe the best goalkeeper in the world.
“Virgil van Dijk and Mo Salah, these are players who are not coming to the end of their careers but are at that stage where if Liverpool are going to go on to do something big again, it has to happen in the next year or two. So really go for it in the last week of the transfer window to get a squad that is good enough to challenge Manchester City.”
Quite who the Reds go for will be of real intrigue. Of the midfielders linked, only Doucoure is proven in the Premier League. And with a price tag of £70m, Liverpool will have to pay through the nose to land the Malian.
Defensive-wise, Liverpool are reported to be looking at Sporting Lisbon centre-back Goncalo Inacio, while Torino’s Perr Schurrs is another long-term option.