Pundit slams Liverpool transfer strategy as he tells Klopp that star isn’t the answer

Liverpool stars Diogo Jota and James Milner guiding youngster Harvey Elliott during pre-season 2021

Liverpool have been told they are making a mistake not signing a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum this season, while a lack of creativity in midfield could cost them a title chance.

The Reds are joint top of the fledgling Premier League table this season, having won both their games. Alongside Chelsea, they have a goal difference of plus five. Something though has to give next weekend though when the two go head-to-head at Anfield.

Liverpool though have faced two opponents, in Norwich and Burnley, they would be expected to beat. And with the real test to come, Perry Groves fears their decision not to replace Wijnaldum in midfield could haunt them.

While there is time left to sign players, it appears the Reds will keep their powder dry. And while Harvey Elliott impressed against the Clarets, former Arsenal man Groves feels Wijnaldum’s industry and craft will be missed over the season.

Groves told talkSPORT that while he was impressed with Elliott, he can’t be the answer this season.

“He [Klopp] trusted him [Elliott] because he played him in the midfield three,” said Groves.

“He went last year to Blackburn Rovers, and I’ve always said that young players should go and learn their trade rather than being in and out the first team in the Premier League and the cups.

“Elliott played 41 games for Blackburn in the Championship last year and scored seven goals. So basically, he’s toughened himself up and played what I call ‘big boys football’.

“But then can you handle yourself with better players and step up? I only saw the highlights, but I looked at his body language and he looked like he believed that he should be in that sort of company.

“We mentioned the goal for Mane, that’s a young player, who as the ball comes across him, you can tell he’s very relaxed. Even his chest control, it’s very relaxed and soft.”

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Groves, though, doubts that Elliott will always play.

“Harvey Elliott isn’t the answer. He’ll be in and out, he’ll get his game time,” he added. “I still think Liverpool need a creative midfield player, like a number 10, because they’re going to come up against teams who will sit back at Anfield.

“He’s a massive bonus for them and an addition for their squad, but Harvey Elliott isn’t the answer to Liverpool’s problems – he’s just a very, very exciting young player.”

Jurgen Klopp, however, was full of praise for the youngster after the game.

He’s good eh? He’s a wonderful talent,” Klopp told BBC Sport. “I have known him for three years. He has always been a sensational talent but he made big steps last season on loan. He’s really calm, really smart – he can play 3/4 different positions.”

Joe Cole backs Liverpool policy

BT Sport pundit Joe Cole, however, reckons Liverpool are right to pu their trust in Elliott.

Watching his performance at Anfield on Saturday, Cole is convinced that the teenager can become a huge star for Liverpool FC.

“I think Klopp will lean on him [Eliott] and will have influence on the season,” said Cole (via the Mirror). “He played with so much maturity.

“It was more his quality on the ball that impressed me.”

Fellow BT pundit Peter Crouch echoed those sentiments after claiming Elliott’s performance displayed maturity beyond his years.

“He’s got games, he’s an 18-year-old kid, it was his debut today, [it] looked as if he made 100.

“He went on loan at Blackburn and got a lot more confidence. For that to go under the radar, can’t pay him a higher compliment. He’s not shied away from getting the ball, he’s going to be a big part.

“He looks a confident young man, he has every right to start the next game.”

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