Jamie Carragher has told Monday Night Football on Sky Sports that Jurgen Klopp’s decision to start Jordan Henderson in defence could have a negative lasting impact on both Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams.
The TV pundit also believes Liverpool have to sign a centre-back in January if the Reds are to retain their league title.
Klopp paired Henderson together with Fabinho at the heart of Liverpool’s defence during a 1-0 defeat to Southampton at St Mary’s.
The Liverpool club-captain performed well on the night, all things considered. All in all, it was a frustrating night for the English champions. Danny Ings scored inside two minutes. And the visitors managed just one shot on target all night.
And following the match, Carragher believes Klopp’s decision to pair Henderson alongside midfield partner Fabinho in defence is not a sustainable one going forward.
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“I think No.1, it’s imperative Liverpool sign someone in January,” he told Sky Sports.
“That’s obvious. The fact that they played Jordan Henderson tonight at centre back is not going to do a lot for the lads [Phillips and Williams] on the bench confidence-wise.
“How do they feel if two midfielders are playing there [central defence]? That tells me they aren’t going to be favourited going back in.
“Jordan Henderson is not a centre-back. He found it tough tonight, did well considering it’s not his position.
“I can’t see Liverpool winning the league if they don’t bring a centre-back in.”
What RTK has to say – How to use Henderson going forward?
Henderson [£20 million] and Fabinho playing together at centre-back is unusual, to say the least.
Ultimately, it didn’t work as Liverpool succumb to their second league defeat of the season. As a result, the duo, two natural midfielders, particularly struggled in the first half.
It might be a little critical to call them a pairing. In truth, Liverpool played in a triangle that included Thiago.
The Spaniard sat in front of the midfield pair as an added layer of protection. On paper, it seemed like a winning formula.
All three players are amongst the best midfielders in the world, and are also experienced winners willing to sacrifice themselves for the betterment of the team.
Unfortunately, the system didn’t work. It did, however, point towards the future with Thiago, Henderson and Fabinho all combined together.
Only in the second half were Liverpool’s triumvirate of all-stars able to get high enough the pitch to cause Southampton problems.
Now all they need is time. All three midfielders are among the best in the league. Liverpool have to play to their strengths if all three are going to be successfully utilised together.