Transfer deadline day may only be just a few days gone, but already there are a number of areas that have been made bare where Liverpool need to strengthen.
The Reds got a real wake-up call last night. Season-ending injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip sparked late transfer activity, but it isn’t enough in the long-term.
Another Anfield defeat highlighted deficiencies in the squad we know exist, and hoped were put to bed following two impressive wins against Tottenham and West Ham.
Indeed, Liverpool have depth to their squad, but is the sufficient quality really there? This was the type of game which showcased where the Reds are seriously lacking.
Of course, injuries have played a major part, too, but that doesn’t make last night’s abysmal display acceptable by any stretch.
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There are three glaring positions Liverpool need to improve, which were shown up last night…
Liverpool have become too heavily reliant on Roberto Firmino this season. So much so that when the Brazilian is off-par, the team dramatically suffers.
The hard truth is that Firmino has gone backwards to the point where we wonder how long it can be accepted.
Although he has a modest return of six goals and four assists in 22 league games, a player of Firmino’s quality should be performing better.
The major worry has been the significant drop-off in-between games. Having returned to his brilliant best against Spurs, Firmino was the polar opposite against Brighton last night.
Even more concerning is the limited lack of firepower in his absence. Divock Origi came off the bench last night and failed to conjure up anything of significance in his late cameo.
There was even a point where the Belgian tackled his own player in the box before slicing the ball out for a goal-kick.
This is a position where Liverpool would need to strengthen in. The decision to loan out Takumi Minamino to Southampton further highlights a current lack of attacking depth from within the squad.
Yes, we are aware that Liverpool recently signed two central defenders on deadline day, but given the club’s current predicament, this may not be enough.
Once again Jordan Henderson was forced to play out of position, and again, Liverpool paid the price.
With three of his first-choice centre-backs all injured, Liverpool need a ready-made option to have an instant galvanising effect, similarly to Ruben Dias at Manchester City.
It’s fair to assume that neither Ben Davies or Ozan Kabak were brought into do that. The former was signed from the Championship while the latter is just 20-years-old. Both are far from the finished article.
We still expect Liverpool to go back into the market for another centre-back this summer with the likes of Dayot Upemecano, Ibrahima Konaté and Jules Kounde amongst the best candidates on the market.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane cannot be expected to plays three matches a week without fatiguing – as was showcased last night.
In the absence of Mane, Liverpool turned to Shaqiri and it didn’t pay off. With Diogo Jota still injured, not having a winger who can take on players and change the game has become a big detriment.
Of course, Jota will come back, but the likes of Shaqiri, Origi and Minamino aren’t at the level required to make the difference when Liverpool are against the wall.
Having another winger who is able to make an immediate impact and change the course of games when the Reds are struggling, would make a huge difference.