Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher believes his former club did not enjoy a successful January transfer window and has been critical of £75million signing Virgil van Dijk.
The Reds finally signed the Dutch central defender from Southampton for a club record fee after being knocked back several times last summer.
However, they finally cashed in on Philippe Coutinho, while Daniel Sturridge moved to West Brom on loan and the Reds failed in an attempt to bring in future signing Naby Keita six months earlier than agreed from RB Leipzig.
And according to Carragher, that business cannot be seen as successful.
“I think if you lose your best player there’s no way you can dress it up as a positive window, certainly in January as well,” he said on Sky Sports’ The Debate special. “I think every Liverpool fan, myself included, when Philippe Coutinho stayed in the summer, felt okay.
“We know he’s going next season, let’s enjoy these 12 months, probably similar to Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, you always felt that was going to happen.
“To lose him mid-season, you know I don’t agree. Philippe Coutinho is not worth that [£146m], he’s not that good. I would have took £20m, £30m less in the summer to know that Liverpool would have had him in the second half of the season, because at that time we’re still in the FA Cup, we’re still in the Champion League.”
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Van Dijk began life at Anfield with a goalscoring debut against Everton in the FA Cup but after starting the back-to-back defeats to Swansea and West Brom he was left out of the victory at Huddersfield in midweek.
Former Reds skipper Carragher is confident that Van Dijk will eventually become a good signing, but insists that the player needs to work on his fitness first.
“I think it will prove to be a great signing, but he hasn’t hit the ground running,” Carragher offered.
“I think he needs to get fit and lose a bit of weight. He actually looks too big. Maybe that’s to do with not having a pre-season.”