John Barnes says Liverpool may concede more goals if they sign another creative midfielder in Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara.
The Reds romped to their first Premier League title this season, clinching top spot faster than any other side.
Much of that success was down to their strength in midfield, provided by the likes of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.
Liverpool’s midfield will look virtually the same next season, with Adam Lallana’s departure the only one expected.
However, several reports in recent months have linked Liverpool with Thiago. The 29-year-old has refused a new contract with the German champions and is looking for a fresh career move.
Speaking to BBC Sport, however, Barnes said switching the focus of their midfield could harm Liverpool.
“With the midfield being very workmanlike, they are a lot of points better off than everybody else,” he said. “The reason you can have two full-backs attacking at the same time and three strikers is because they have three hard-working midfielders to protect that situation.
“If you get another creative midfielder and you want your full-backs and front three to attack, then maybe you are going to concede more goals.
“Manchester City have got how many creative players in their midfield? But Liverpool finished 20-odd points ahead of them. Maybe Man City should say: ‘Let’s get more hard-working players in midfield so we can catch Liverpool’.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed his club harbour a reluctance to spend this summer. The Reds, like many clubs, are scaling back their spending after losing revenue due to the pandemic.
BARNES: LIVERPOOL DON’T NEED BIG-NAME SIGNINGS
Chief Premier League broadcasters Sky Sports have ordered a £170million rebate, which clubs will not have to pay until the 2021-22 season. What’s more, the lack of fans has hit top-flight clubs’ finances, with Liverpool recently expanding Anfield’s capacity.
Barnes added, however, that Klopp is simply keen to keep the balance of his squad and avoid “big-name signings”.
“I don’t even think it is the coronavirus pandemic,” he said. I don’t necessarily think they need to make huge signings.
“Jurgen Klopp likes the harmony of the squad. Maybe he has to get more squad signings but not big-name signings necessarily going into the first XI.”