Jamie Carragher thinks both Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are coming towards the end of their Liverpool careers.
Speaking via Football Daily this morning, Carragher claimed that the two players will leave Liverpool at the end of this season. As a result, the Reds legend thinks Jurgen Klopp will be on the lookout for ‘two or three’ more midfielders.
Liverpool needed a midfielder but the player they wanted was not available. Now you could argue should they be going for someone else? Yes, I think there is an argument that next season Liverpool will need more than one midfield player,” said Carragher.
“I think with the age and some of the injury problems with Thiago, I think Jordan Henderson is injured now, he’s into his thirties, the same with Milner. Oxlade-Chamberlain I think is going to move on, Naby Keita I’m sure, so Liverpool could possibly need two or three midfielders next season.
“I think the argument is could they maybe have got one of those players right now? The fact they’ve brought Arthur in on-loan shows they’re not 100% convinced [by him], but midfield is going to be the major shake up in the next 12 months for Liverpool.”
Midfield overdue a freshening up
No arguments here, Liverpool’s midfield is long overdue a bit of a shake up. It’s not that the players are bad players, it’s just that too many of them are too often unavailable.
As Carragher mentions, a couple of them are also pushing into their thirties and will need to be replaced.
More than anything though, perhaps Liverpool just need a freshening up. At times the team is ridiculously predictable. When The Reds aren’t playing well, they look alarmingly short of ideas.
It’s great to get a group of excellent players together for a period of time. But after a while any team needs an injection of something different.
Thiago was certainly that for Liverpool in 2020. But he unfortunately falls into both categories here: too injury prone and getting on a bit.
Liverpool left to rue market inaction
Arthur Melo is by any stretch of the imagination a stop-gap solution. It’s hard to shake the feeling that had Liverpool addressed their inevitable injury issues in midfield earlier in the window, they could have signed one of their targets.
Obviously, they couldn’t sign their top target. That’s Jude Bellingham, and Borussia Dortmund wouldn’t budge on him. They also wanted Aurelien Tchouameni, but he went to Real Madrid.
Surely they had to have a list of others who were more than get-able this summer, though. The likes of Mathues Nunes and Lucas Paqueta moved for reasonable fees to top half Premier League sides. Either would have likely improved what Liverpool have.
Anyway, what’s done is done. Liverpool now know their squad for at least the first half of 2022/23. Getting the most out of the midfield could be the difference between success and failure this season.