Liverpool’s summer transfer window focus should be on improving their midfield and attack, Arsenal legend Martin Keown has said.
The reigning Premier League champions slipped to four points adrift of the Champions League spots following Thursday’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea. It was also the first time they have lost five successive home games in their history.
They have since suffered a sixth consecutive home loss, this time to Fulham.
The Reds have been criticised for a poor defence of their crown, which can be partly attributed to the significant number of defensive injuries they have suffered.
First-choice centre-back pairing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have been long-term absentees. Joel Matip has also endured multiple problems which have kept him sidelined for large parts of the campaign.
However, Keown believes the backline is not where the issues lie. Instead, he feels they need to strengthen further forward.
Looking ahead to next season with a fully fit squad, the former England defender sees an injection of quality in midfield and attack as the answer to Liverpool’s current woes.
“I think if [Jurgen Klopp] is going to build, I think maybe that midfield area has been an area where, for one reason or another, [Jordan] Henderson, [James] Milner have had a lot of injuries this season, [Naby] Keita, it’s only [Georginio] Wijnaldum who has readily been available,” he told talkSPORT.
“The young lad [Curtis] Jones has come through and he won’t want to block his path.
“But maybe he wants to look in that area to strengthen. And maybe somebody else in the frontline.”
Dutch international Wijnaldum is yet to sign a new contract. A number of clubs are lining up to sign him on a free transfer in the summer.
Key man could be departing
Furthermore, it has been reported that there is a ‘very real feeling’ among Liverpool chiefs that Mohamed Salah is exploring his options ahead of a move away from Anfield.
Since joining from Roma, the 28-year-old has scored 118 goals and assisted 45 others in 189 games.
This season he has netted 24 times and maintained his form despite scoring being an issue amongst the team as a whole.
However, Salah hinted at an exit in December by outlining his affection for Barcelona and Real Madrid. In another interview, though, he insisted that he wants to stay at Anfield as long as he can.
But according to Eurosport, there is a strong indication that the winger is ‘considering a change’.