Former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson has urged Jurgen Klopp to improve his defence and also to breach the market for an out-and-out striker if he intends to compete with his fellow Premier League rivals.
Even though the Reds have carried a near to perfect record against the top-six Premier League sides, their defensive instability has been exposed at times. Take the Premier League opener for instance; Liverpool conceded the first goal in as early as the eight minute and even though we managed to equalise, we slipped away inside three minutes of it. The final score? Liverpool 3 Watford 3.
A 4-0 victory against Arsenal has remained the only positive thing this season so far. In our last 7 games in all competitions, we have won only once; a narrow victory against Leicester City at King Power. Hence, criticism coming towards Jurgen Klopp was quite fair, to say the least. It’s not that Liverpool’s defensive woes have popped out instantly. We have been criticised for the same for the past couple of years, but we have never really found a solution for that.
We needed to add numbers to our defence but we rather opted to sell Mamadou Sakho, hoping that we’d sign Virgil van Dijk. Sure, Klopp is keen on signing another centre-back and judging by the look of things, van Dijk’s arrival is looking more prominent now.
While our defence is shipping goals, our attacking unit has been quite far from what they delivered last season. Since the 5-0 demolition at hands of Manchester City, we have scored just 8 goals in 6 games and have conceded 9.
Hence, addressing the issue, Phil Thompson has said that we should go all out for him should Dortmund make Aubameyang available in the market. Aubameyang is rated at €65m.
“I do feel that come January we need to improve the defenders and get an out-and-out striker,” he told Sky Sports. “If Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became available then he should be on our hit list.”
Liverpool next face Manchester United at Anfield, followed by games against Tottenham, Huddersfield and West Ham in the span of 20 days, with two Champions League fixtures being slotted in between as well. We do not really have sustainable depth to go all out for all these fixtures, yet Thompson is of belief that we can still finish in the top four this season.
“I honestly believe we will still finish in the top four because we can outgun most teams,” he added.
Quite rightly so, we will finish in the top-4 but if Klopp doesn’t strengthen the back line in January, even a top-4 finish could go for a toss.
Liverpool injury update: Jurgen Klopp provides the latest on injured Reds stars including Keita
Manager Jurgen Klopp has provided the latest team news ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Huddersfield Town. (Liverpool Echo)
Summer signing Naby Keita suffered a hamstring injury while on duty for his national team whereas Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Virgil Van Dijk suffered setbacks too.
The Reds will check on the fitness of the latter three but Klopp confirmed that Keita is out for this game. When asked if he had a fitness update, Klopp responded by saying (h/t Liverpool Echo),
“Not really. We had a session yesterday and a few of the boys trained, so we’ll have to see how they’ve reacted after that.
“The only thing that is pretty sure is that Naby will not be available; with all the rest we have to see how it develops. That’s it, pretty much.”
Speaking about Virgil van Dijk, the gaffer added that there were no long-term concerns regarding the player’s fitness. The Dutchman featured in the Netherlands’ 3-0 win vs Germany but returned home after the game as a precautionary measure, missing the following game against Belgium.
“You saw when he went off – everybody saw when he went off – in the home game against Southampton, Virg would not leave the pitch without any major problems.
“It settled pretty quickly. Football players have to play very often with some kind of pain, that’s how it is. What it is exactly is not too important.
“It’s all good, he has no problems with that anymore.”
We’ll have to wait to see if the injured players recover in time to make it to the starting XI against Huddersfield Town.
Despite a drop in form, we are level on points with league leaders Man City and a win against the Terriers would help us maintain the pressure at the top.
Salah and Mane out? – Predicted 4-3-3 Liverpool line-up to face Huddersfield Town
Predicted Liverpool line-up to face Huddersfield in the Premier League
Liverpool take on a struggling Huddersfield Town in the Premier League on Saturday. While the Terriers are one of the three teams who are yet to win in the Premier League this season, Liverpool are tied level on points with league leaders, Manchester City.
The Reds are unbeaten in the league but the international break hasn’t been great. Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane all picked up injuries and Jurgen Klopp might mix things up.
Liverpool drew against Manchester City last time around and it will be interesting to see how the Reds fare in this game.
Probable Liverpool XI
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
The Brazilian is our first-choice goalkeeper and will start the game against the Terriers on Saturday.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB)
Alexander-Arnold was part of the England side during the recent international break and should be up for the clash against Huddersfield.
Virgil van Dijk (CB)
Van Dijk is a sure starter for the Reds at the back. He has completely transformed our team’s dynamics and is crucial to our success.
Joe Gomez (CB)
Gomez was excellent for England against Spain and should look to carry that form for Liverpool on Saturday.
Andy Robertson (LB)
The Scottish captain is one of the best left-backs in the league and must start for the Reds.
James Milner (CM)
Milner picked up an injury prior to the international break but should be fit for this game.
Jordan Henderson (CM)
The captain should start the game for the Reds given that Naby Keita is out injured.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM)
Wijnaldum scored a great goal against Germany recently and has been excellent for Liverpool so far.
Xherdan Shaqiri (RW)
Salah’s minor problem could give Shaqiri a chance to shine. The Swiss star hasn’t started many games for us, but this is the perfect tie to play him.
Roberto Firmino (ST)
The Brazilian isn’t getting as many goals as he would have liked, but he is an important player for the team and should start on Saturday.
Daniel Sturridge (LW)
With Mane a doubt, Klopp can opt to play Daniel Sturridge on the left wing.
Reputed journalist claims Liverpool attacker will leave in January – £20m price tag set
James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo reports that Divock Origi could leave Anfield in the winter window. The Belgian was linked with a move away in the summer but remained at the club.
Wolverhampton Wanderers could make a move for the Belgian striker. The club were willing to spend £22million plus add-ons in the summer but Origi wasn’t willing to move to Molineux, as per the report.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) October 18, 2018
The report adds that Everton are also interested in the 23-year-old but they have not made any official contact with Liverpool.
Borussia Dortmund were also interested in the striker (h/t Liverpool Echo) but wanted to sign him on a loan in the summer.
Origi is not getting a lot of game time this season as Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge are being preferred by Jurgen Klopp.
The Belgian needs to move out and truth be told, he hasn’t been the same since a horrible tackle by Ramiro Funes Mori in a Merseyside derby in Klopp’s first season in charge.
Origi could fetch us some decent money and hopefully, he gets the right move away from the club to reignite his career elsewhere.
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