Jamie Carragher doubts Liverpool’s Premier League credentials as they ‘lack a top, top central midfielder’ as well as a defender… but predicts the Reds will be ‘better equipped’ for a title charge next term
- Liverpool spent £146million on four central midfielders in the transfer window
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Jamie Carragher has cast doubts over Liverpool’s ability to mount a considerable title threat in the Premier League this season, pinpointing two key holes in the side.
The former Liverpool stalwart spoke ahead of kick-off against Brighton on Sunday about their hopes to fight for the English crown, but suggested their lack of a top tier central midfielder and a defender will hamper them.
It has been a promising start to the campaign for Jurgen Klopp’s side, who suffered a first defeat in the league last weekend at Tottenham.
The game was contentious for a well-documented VAR blunder, which saw Luis Diaz’s perfectly legitimate goal in the first half ruled out for offside, after a miscommunication between officials.
However the Reds have shown an improvement from the inconsistencies of last term, winning won five, drawn one and lost one of their seven games before Sunday’s clash at the Amex Stadium.
Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports viewers he doubts Liverpool will be able to challenge this term
Liverpool spent a total of £146million this summer – all of which went on central midfielders
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Yet Carragher remains unconvinced of their prospects this season, admitting it will be ‘tough’ for them to beat the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal to the top.
‘Whether they can win the biggest trophy in terms of the Premier League, I think that will be tough,’ he began.
‘It might be something they go for next season when they can add a couple more additions as I think they really lack a top, top central midfield player who can sit in front of the back four and maybe a defender.
‘But I think those gaps will be plugged in the next two transfer windows and then they’ll be better equipped for next season.
‘I think the start to this season bodes well, and we’ll see if they can mount a real challenge.’
Liverpool did invest heavily in central midfielders this summer, splashing a total of £146million on four players: Alexis Mac Allister (£35m), Dominik Szoboszlai (£60m), Wataru Endo (£16m) and Ryan Gravenberch (£35m).
However they have still struggled for dominance in the middle of the park, with Mac Allister often deployed as the unofficial No 6, but often overpowered, with Szoboszlai positioned further up the pitch.
Meanwhile Gravenberch and Endo have struggled to break into the first-team in the top-flight since their moves from Germany, but have appeared in the Europa League.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are also short of a defender according to Carragher, although they currently have four options in the first team
At the heart of defence they have already conceded seven goals in seven games, and have struggled in particular to start strong at the back.
Of those seven, six have come in the first half, with Joel Matip’s second half own goal last week their only concession after the break in the Premier League this term.
Liverpool are not short of central defenders, with captain Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez joined by Ibrahima Konate at the back.
However both Van Dijk and Matip have had injury problems, while Gomez has often been used at right back, with Jarell Quansah brought in for a first start at just 20 against Wolves to bolster their options.
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