Jamie Carragher believes that Liverpool still have a lot of work to do this summer if they are to truly improve on last season’s campaign.
It was a well documented point last season that Liverpool’s squad depth simply just wasn’t good enough to cope with the rigours of the Premier League season.
When the first-choice starting XI was fielded, the Reds more often than not looked invincible, brushing teams away with ease and more often than not putting 3, 4, 5, even 6 goals past certain sides. However, when injuries hit, they hit hard.
The Reds played nine games in January this year, winning just one and their fortunes in February weren’t much better with Klopp’s men enduring humbling losses to both Hull City and Leicester.
With Champions League football potentially on the horizon – pending the result of the Reds’ playoff qualifier – Jamie Carragher believes that Jürgen Klopp still has a lot of work to do to ensure his squad isn’t leaving him short-staffed.
“I mentioned a lot last season that our squad isn’t strong enough,” Carragher said in an exclusive interview with 5Times.
“Despite the first eleven being very good, with Champions League football coming up the squad needs a few more additions and these numbers are yet to come in.
“Saying this though, I think Jürgen Klopp is looking to bring in quality rather than quantity, which is something that I’m personally happy with too.”
The ex-Reds defender believes that while much of Liverpool’s business has been documented openly in the press – far too openly if you ask most people – the club likely have alternatives to first-choice pair Naby Keïta and Virgil van Dijk lined up behind the scenes in case things don’t go to plan.
“Every player you go for, you don’t always get and normally there is always a number two and a number three,” Carragher explained.
“Regarding Keïta, I don’t think that Klopp will go out and buy another midfielder… I think he would be willing to wait until next season, as supposedly Keïta has a buyout clause. Therefore, I think in January, or in twelve months time Liverpool will have a lot more opportunities to sign him.”
“I reckon, the van Dijk ‘saga’ will go right down to the wire. I don’t think Liverpool have ended all their interest in him at all. Nevertheless, if we go into the new season with what we’ve got now, I think there will be a lot of trepidation amongst the Liverpool fans.
“Other teams have been able to improve in specific positions, but so far it hasn’t been that straightforward for Klopp.”
Moving on to business the Reds have already managed to complete, Carragher seemed happy enough about the signing of former Hull City left-back Andrew Robertson. The Englishman noted the Scottish full-back’s importance to Hull last season but revealed he has reservations about just how ready he is to take the next big step up at a club like Liverpool.
“For the last few seasons, he’s done a really good job for Hull and for Scotland as well. It wouldn’t have been easy for him at Hull City, being at a club who are always fighting for relegation.
“Nowadays, it’s not easy to find left-backs at the required level and I don’t know if Robertson is ready yet to play at the required level. However, the games I’ve seen him play for Hull, he has always shone and was one of their best players.”
“However, there is a big jump from playing at one end of the league to playing at the top end of the league. I think, at first he will be used as backup for James Milner and Andy will be working hard over the next twelve month’s in order to eventually replace Milner and become Liverpool’s long term left-back.
“There is no future for Alberto Moreno, so Klopp had to bring someone in and to be honest, LFC were never going to break the bank for a left-back or a squad player for that matter.”
You can read the full transcript, including Carra’s thoughts on Firmino and the Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona links here.