Carragher reveals Liverpool player they thought was out of his depth

Date published: Monday 6th April 2020 10:36

Jamie.Carragher TEAMtalk

Jamie Carragher has picked out one player who the rest of the Liverpool squad thought was out of his depth when he arrived shortly after they had won the Champions League in 2005.

Mohamed Sissoko, then 20, signed for the Reds for £5.6million from Valencia just six weeks after the Reds had lifted the Champions League trophy in Istanbul.

Rafa Benitez was the manager at the time and he believed he was getting a diamond.

Benitez said: “Mohamed is a young central midfielder who plays a high-energy game with a high tempo.

“He’s young, he’s not bad on the ball and he will improve the balance of our team in the middle.

“He’s had two good years with Valencia where he has won trophies. I know him well and he’s a very good player.”

However, Carragher, speaking to Sky Sports’ Off Script, has said the squad were less than impressed with  Sissoko and initially doubted whether he was good enough.

When asked about players improving after a period of settling in, Carragher said: “More often than not at Liverpool the top players settled really quickly, but I can think of a couple. I think Momo Sissoko was one.

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“He ended up being a really good player for us in midfield. A destructive type of player, not great technically.

“People always wonder what it’s like when new signings come in, and pro footballers at the top clubs, or at any level, we’re all the same as when you’re with your mates at five a side.

“If someone comes in new, and the first few passes they give it away or they’re struggling with the ball, you’re all looking at each other thinking ‘oh what have we done? What have we got here?’

“I think that was definitely the case with Momo Sissoko.”

Sissoko played for three seasons at Anfield and played 87 times for the Reds before he made a 2008 transfer to Juventus.

Prior to his arrival, Carragher also says German midfielder Dietmar Hamann was far from impressive early on after his £8million move from Newcastle in 1999.

“I think Didi Hamann was one as well,” added Carragher.

“It’s not that he looked a poor player, but what he did at Liverpool… his first season it did take him a bit of time to show why we’d spent that money on him and what job he was going to do in the team.

“Then obviously he became a revelation and was part of that successful era of Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez.

“But in the first season you were sort of looking at it and thinking that you needed a little bit more, and that’s what Didi provided.

“But I’d say Sissoko was the big one where you think, within six months you think ‘wow. he looks a good powerful Premier League player.”

READ MORE: Carragher leads ex-players as they turn on Liverpool over coronavirus

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