Premier League • England

Liverpool star named and shamed as Danny Murphy picks worst-ever signing of Jurgen Klopp era

Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain July 2020

Former Liverpool star Danny Murphy claims the upcoming break for the World Cup will come at the perfect time for the Reds, after the pundit ran the rule over their struggles this season and subsequently naming their worst signing of Jurgen Klopp’s reign.

The Reds, the 2020 Premier League champions, have been massively inconsistent this season. Recent losses to struggling Nottingham Forest and Leeds United in the Premier League have seen the heat firmly turned up on Klopp. Indeed, speculation over Klopp’s future has heightened amid claims a new favourite for the post has been idenitfied.

However, Klopp’s agent is adamant the German is going nowhere, inspite of their obvious struggles.

Indeed, despite the inconsistencies this season, there have still been plenty of highs. Klopp’s side are the only team to beat both Napoli and Manchester City this season. They have also beaten Rangers 7-1 in the Champions League and destroyed Bournemouth 9-0 in the Premier League.

And Michael Owen is convinced that they can navigate their way through the storm before too long.

A big factor behind Liverpool’s struggles has been their ageing midfield and a lack of options in there. To that end, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara are both on the wrong side of 30 with both having suffered with injuries this season.

And James Milner is surely in his last season at the club, given he turns the ripe old age of 37 in January.

Klopp has done his best to mask the problems Graeme Souness says the German predicted he would be facing this season.

Indeed, Liverpool’s lack of options has led to Harvey Elliott perhaps getting more game-time than he may have expected.

Naby Keita named as Jurgen Klopp’s worst-ever signing

And there’s an argument to say that Elliott may have featured less had one of, or both of, Naby Keita or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain been fit.

The pair, both free agents at the end of the season, are eligible to sign pre-contracts overseas from January 1.

And it seems Keita’s mind is already made up after a vastly-underwhelming spell at Anfield.

Signing in a £52.75m move from RB Leipzig in summer 2018, the Guinean has struggled at Anfield.

Now into his fifth season at the club, the injury-plagued star has only played 117 games for the Reds.

Expectations were high when he switched to Anfield after gaining a big reputation in the Bundesliga.

But upon a failure to deliver, coupled with his huge price tag, Murphy now feels that Keita will go down as the biggest transfer disappointment of Klopp’s reign.

Discussing their midfield issues on talkSPORT, Murphy said: “Although I think Fabinho is a bit down on his form, with him, Thiago [Alcantara] and [Jordan] Henderson fit and playing every week I don’t think the midfield is as big a problem as people make out.”

World Cup break is timely for the Reds

Discussing the lesser seen Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita, Murphy added: “Although you would like more choice. [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain is never fit. [Naby] Keita’s probably been the worst signing out of the big ones, all the others have done well.

“And the two young lads, although super talents, you can’t rely on them week in week out, it’s not fair.

“So, an overview would be there’s lots to improve on and it’s not going to happen overnight.”

Murphy also reckons the break for the World Cup is coming at just the right time.

“The World Cup is going to be a welcome break for Liverpool I think, I really do,” he concluded.

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