Jamie Carragher says that injury to Manchester United captain Harry Maguire only scratches the surface in comparison with Liverpool’s misery this season.
United are hoping that their star centre-back will be fit for the Europa League final later this month after picking up an ankle injury. However, he will not play again in the Premier League and faces an anxious wait. Furthermore, his team-mates struggled without his presence on Thursday, losing 4-2 to Liverpool.
The drop in quality without the England international’s presence was obvious; Luke Shaw and Dean Henderson made unforced errors to hand Roberto Firmino his second goal.
However, Carragher has insisted that United’s situation amounts to nothing compared to what Liverpool have gone through this season.
Jurgen Klopp has lost all three senior centre-halves to long-term injuries. Furthermore, none of them will return before the end of the season, after so long out.
As such, Carragher offered a reminder that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could have fared worse. He also insisted that his former side should be “proud” if they make the top four.
“With the injuries they’ve had, if they were to finish top four this season I think the manager and the players in some ways can be proud of what they have done,” the pundit said (via the Daily Mirror) at an event where he announced plans for his academy with Robbie Fowler.
“Put it this way, Manchester United massively missed Harry Maguire on Thursday night.
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“But what Liverpool have had, would be like them missing Maguire, [Victor] Lindelof and [Bailly for basically six months, and then missing the players they have as back up too.
“You see the effect it had on Manchester United with just one player out for just one game, so take the other centre backs out as well for six months, and where would they be.”
United have already secured their top-four status, but Liverpool are firmly in the fight to join them.
They sit in fifth, four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with three games to go. However, Chelsea play third-placed Leicester on Tuesday, which will prove crucial.
Nevertheless, Liverpool‘s best option – as Klopp has pointed out – is to focus on winning their remaining matches.
Liverpool could have successful season
“Anyone who has seen Liverpool week in week out this season, you know at times it’s been really tough. Results, performances, and injuries,” Carragher added.
“So if they get top four, it will be a success in some ways. They’ve had so many questions this season, and at times rightly so because they are the champions, they are Liverpool.
“But come out with a Champions League position, and they can be quite pleased with that from where they were. They can take something from that.”
Liverpool’s next task sees them face relegated West Brom on Sunday.