Liverpool scraped a 1-0 win over Sheffield United over the weekend. The Reds were on top for most of the game but their possession was largely unthreatening barring a few grossly wasted opportunities. The Blades defended valiantly throughout the game and have every right to be disappointed in the result, they created a few glaring opportunities of their own. It was a speculative effort from Gini Wijnaldum, fumbled by Dean Henderson, that was the difference between the sides at full time. The Reds’ impotency exposed a weakness in the squad that has to be addressed, Liverpool simply must strengthen the midfield.
Liverpool’s midfield was resolute on Saturday but had no creativity about it; the ball was moved around far too slowly and there was no incision. Perhaps this is an issue that could be solved by the full match fitness of Naby Keita. However, with the Guinean midfielder so hampered by injuries, even when he is fit we cannot expect him to keep up with the brutally demanding schedule that Liverpool are facing at the minute. As it stands, Jürgen Klopp’s side are facing a game nearly every 3 days until the international break.
If Naby Keita is unable to provide the creative spark that Liverpool need in the midfield, then we will have to delve into the transfer market. The Reds are desperate for a midfielder to pick the ball up and drive at a defence, much like we have seen Naby Keita do and much like the style of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain before his injury layoff. Sadly, at the moment, neither player has been able to make the desired impact so far this season. If they manage to get over their injury woes, this could be an issue of the past – we just don’t want another Adam Lallana on our hands.