In 2021, Liverpool will lose their Premier League title “if they don’t buy a center-back,” says Jamie Carragher, advising the Reds that they have “near enough nowhere” of late.
The defending champions sit at the top of the table 17 games into the defense of a title they won in record-breaking style last season.
The side of Jurgen Klopp, however, saw the chasing pack close in – with Manchester United on points while boasting a game in hand, while all within striking distance was Leicester, Tottenham and Manchester City.
Throughout the current campaign, injuries have been a concern for Liverpool, especially at the back, whilst an unusual lack of firepower has led to points being dropped in their last three fixtures.
By tapping into the transfer market for another experienced defender, Carragher needs Klopp to act on that, with the Anfield legend warning that in January there will be a serious price to pay for any lack of movement.
On the back of a 1-0 defeat away at Southampton, he told Sky Sports: “I can’t see Liverpool winning the league if they don’t buy a center-back.”
When [Virgil] van Dijk was injured after the Everton game, I said that, but I think it’s a very tough question if they don’t bring anyone in.
For the two boys on the bench [Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips] and their trust, if they have two midfielders playing there, the fact that they played Jordan Henderson at center-back is not going to do much. Henderson is not a back-of-center. He has done well, but this is not his place.
Liverpool has registered just seven goal attempts in their last three outings since hammering Crystal Palace 7-0 prior to Christmas.
Fraser Forster at St Mary’s took them 75 minutes to distress them, with Carragher worrying about the direction in which results are going.
He added: “I didn’t see that coming, I was expecting a Liverpool reaction on the back of two really bad performances.” We’ve just seen a different one.”
Liverpool’s away form is so bad this season. They haven’t looked like scoring when it comes to opportunities produced, even again tonight. Did he have to make a good save for Fraser Forster, a big save? Did anybody skip the real chance they had to score?
At the present, that’s a very big problem for Liverpool, in terms of what they’re building away from home. Nowhere close enough is it.
Carragher went on to say:
I watch them at times and think about where the goal comes from.
Look what is happening in terms of actual goals since the Manchester City game. Yeah, the freak outcome against Crystal Palace was there, but look at the chances provided by open play. The average for last season was 10 from open play. But this season they are not producing what you would equate with a top team.
Look at the average chances generated away from home from open play and they are down in the seventh. You can be in the top two or three defensively for anything if you are a top team like Liverpool.
The big issue for me, if you go back to the very last game against Newcastle, yes, [Mohamed] Salah missed the odds and Mane missed the odds, so who else is going to score if they don’t score then?
Take out the Crystal Palace game and no one else has scored for Liverpool, which was open, away from home. Diogo Jota, who scored against Brighton, is another.