Former Liverpool player Steve McManaman claims that it would be a no-brainer for the club to go and sign a centre-back in the January transfer window.
McManaman says that the only area of Liverpool’s squad where they may need to strengthen is centre-back due to the injuries to Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, along with Dejan Lovren leaving the club in the summer to join Zenit in Russia.
He has backed Liverpool to sign a centre-back if it becomes viable from a business sense, adding that he does not know what the club’s financial situation is like heading into the window.
Speaking on BT Sport, as transcribed by the Liverpool Echo, McManaman gave his thoughts on what Liverpool should do in January. “The only area where you would say Liverpool might need someone is in the centre of defence.
“People keep talking about the fact they let Dejan Lovren go and never really replaced him which is true but you don’t expect them to get two or three injuries in that one position. Would I bring someone in in January if I had the money to get a good centre half? The answer would be yes but I don’t know what the financial situation is at Liverpool Football Club.
“If Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are going to be out for significant periods of time which it seems they are, you can play Fabinho and Joel Matip there but Fabinho’s been excellent in the centre of midfield area and you’d be taking him away from there.
“It is a no-brainer for me to get someone if it’s doable and then you can deal with the numbers further down the line if you’re successful at the end of the season.”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
This could be a very difficult decision for Michael Edwards and Jurgen Klopp as they have been left in a tricky situation ahead of the January window. Van Dijk and Gomez look set to miss the majority of the season and that does leave Liverpool very light at the back, with Joel Matip and Nat Phillips the only recognised centre-backs with Premier League games played.
However, if they then sign a – for example – big money centre-back who wants to be a regular starter for the foreseeable future, what do they do when van Dijk and Gomez return? Gomez and van Dijk have both been regulars in recent years under Jurgen Klopp and might not be happy if they come back and find themselves sitting on the bench because Kalidou Koulibaly, Milan Skriniar or whoever it may be is playing well in the team.
This means that a marquee centre-back signing may not be the best decision at this moment in time and Liverpool could be better off going with what they have and hoping that Matip, Phillips and young Rhys Williams can see out the season and stay fit. Although, Liverpool could, perhaps, go down a safer route and look to either a free agent or loan to come in for six months and help during the second half of the campaign until Gomez and/or van Dijk return.