According to the Sun, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is set to spend again on his defence in the Summer despite bringing in Van Dijk for a club record fee last year. The Liverpool boss was understood to be keen on cover during the transfer window – but ended up with no signings.
And after Nathaniel Clyne was loaned out Klopp was left counting the cost with Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Trent Alexander-Arnold crocked. Klopp will look to strengthen his back-up behind first-choice centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Gomez when the Premier League title challenge concludes in May.
Before the window opened Klopp said he would “keep the door open” for new arrivals. Sporting director Michael Edwards is the transfer guru on Merseyside but players are only recruited if Klopp wants him – and owners Fenway Sports Group. Edwards also monitors the market for player coming available but the club did not make a January signing, unlike a year ago when Van Dijk arrived and made an instant impact.
They also agreed to loan Clyne to Bournemouth, just before Alexander-Arnold was injured which left Klopp needing to juggle at right-back. The German’s big job now is to boost morale after draws against Leicester and West Ham have given Manchester City momentum in the title race. Meanwhile, Liverpool legend John Aldridge has told Jurgen Klopp to axe Adam Lallana and Naby Keita after their poor performances against West Ham. The Reds drew 1-1 at the London Stadium on Monday night after Michail Antonio cancelled out Sadio Mane’s opening goal, which should have been ruled offside.
However, it could have been much worse for Liverpool as the Hammers wasted a number of good opportunities to win the match. The result means Manchester City moved top of the Premier League on Wednesday night with a 2-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park. City are level on points with Klopp‘s men – who have played a game less – but the Citizens have a better goal difference. And Aldridge was far from impressed with what he saw on Monday especially from Lallana and Keita, who started against the Hammers with Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson missing through injury.
“Klopp’s side dropped more points at West Ham, but a bigger issue for me in both games has been the performance or lack of it from Liverpool’s midfielders,” Aldridge told Independent.ie. “Salah, Mane and Firmino will give you a cutting edge if the balance of the team is right, but the players sitting behind them at West Ham failed to produce the goods and it cost Liverpool. “I know Klopp was forced into changes due to injuries, but Adam Lallana and Naby Keita cannot play together in midfield again, as they are just not up to the job for a title-winning team.
“My first impressions of Lallana when he came to Liverpool were not positive and while he proved me wrong to an extent with some good performances before his recent injury problems, it looks like he is struggling to get back to those levels once again after so long in the treatment room. “As for Keita, he has not settled at Liverpool and has failed to deliver the performances we were expecting from him, with Klopp and his coaching staff fighting to get him up to speed and still waiting to see if he will be good enough to play in this team.”
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