Dietmar Hamann believes that Liverpool need to sign two new midfielders if Georginio Wijnaldum leaves at the end of the season.
Midfield has proved the most demanding area of Jurgen Klopp‘s side since the German joined in 2015. While he has several options at his disposal – more than in other areas – Klopp likes to rotate. Indeed, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Curtis Jones are three players who have battled for minutes in recent seasons.
However, Wijnaldum, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have proved three of Liverpool’s most irreplaceable players.
In fact, Wijnaldum played more minutes than any other Reds midfielder last season. Furthermore, he has remained a consistent figure this term amid a host of injuries.
But with his contract running out in the summer and there being little sign of an extension on the cards, Hamann believes that his exit would leave a big hole in Klopp’s team.
Indeed, the ex-Liverpool star believes that recent addition Thiago and injury-prone Keita cannot provide enough on their own once their colleague leaves.
“I don’t think they need many big name signings,” the pundit told talkSPORT. “Obviously, a lot will depend on whether [Mohamed] Salah and [Sadio] Mane stay at the club.
“I think they missed Jota in the last few weeks, he’s become a very important player for them.
“The centre-backs will be back. They certainly need two or three signings, Milner is 35 now, Keita hasn’t really come to the party since he joined Liverpool, and there are still a lot of question marks over Thiago.
“If Wijnaldum goes, I think they will need at least two players in the centre of midfield.
“But apart from that, when the injured players come back, I don’t think they will need a huge overhaul.”
Keita has not played since being hauled off after 42 minutes of Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid.
Thiago, meanwhile, showed flashes of his talent at the start of his Anfield tenure but has faced criticism in 2021.
Exclusive: Liverpool defensive transfer conundrum
Meanwhile, adding another defender is another key priority for Klopp in the upcoming transfer window.
Loan star Ozan Kabak is still in the process of convincing club chiefs to make his January move from Schalke permanent.
However, TEAMtalk understands that Liverpool would struggle to afford both the Turk and RB Leipzig Ibrahima Konate unless first-team stars leave.