Too Much Midfield Focus
Whilst most have suggested that midfield reinforcements should be Liverpool’s priority, Jurgen Klopp’s back line is starting to look just as weak.
The Reds have already made three midfield signings this summer following the departures of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.
Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szobozslai, and Wataru Endo all joined the club for a combined fee of approximately £110 million.
However, Liverpool’s defensive history in the market doesn’t make good reading for the Reds.
Klopp’s Current Options:
Klopp has become rather settled on his preferred back four, consisting of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibou Konate, Virgil Van Dijk, and Andy Robertson.
However, after that, the German has very little squad depth to rely on with Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Kostas Tsimikas, and Conor Bradley.
Nathaniel Phillips currently is still a Liverpool player but is expected to leave the club before the end of the window.
20-year-old Jarrell Quansah is also set to secure a loan move this summer, despite an impressive pre-season campaign.
Other defensive options such as Rhys Williams and Calvin Ramsay have already left the club on a season-long loan.
History in the Transfer Market:
Below is a list of every defender that has been signed since Jurgen Klopp arrived at the club back in October 2015.
Joel Matip (Free) Sepp Van den Berg (£1.3m) Ben Davies (£1.6m) Ragnar Klavan (£4m) Calvin Ramsay (£6m) Andy Robertson (£8m) Kostas Tsimikas (£11m) Ibou Konate (£36m) Virgil Van Dijk (£75m)
In total, that’s £142 million on nine defensive signings in eight years under Klopp.
It’s important to note that Trent Alexander-Arnold graduated through the academy while Joe Gomez moved from Charlton for £3 million prior to Klopp’s move.
Once you take away the one-off big money signing in Virgil Van Dijk, that’s just £67.9 million spent on the other eight signings.
In a market where the likes of Harry Maguire and Wesley Fofana have all made moves for more than that fee, it’s clear to see how little Liverpool have spent in context.
Without the signing of Konate too, that’s just £31.9 million on seven out of the nine signings made under Klopp.
This becomes even more frustrating when you look at the limited impact some of those players made at the club after signing.
For example, three out of those other seven cheaper signings have barely kicked a ball during their spells at Anfield.
Sepp Van den Berg, Ben Davies, and Calvin Ramsay making a combined number of six senior appearances at the club.
That was £8.9 million spent on those six appearances from those players alone.
What’s the Solution?
As much as I do agree that another midfielder is really important in Liverpool’s potential success this season, perhaps signing another defender is more important.
I don’t think that splashing the cash on someone like Josko Gvardiol would’ve been the answer to Klopp’s defensive worries.
However, I think that signing two cheaper defensive options would go a long way in improving both the depth and talent of the squad.
The Reds have been linked with a few players this summer that I think would’ve fit the bill perfectly for what Klopp needs.
Jurrien Timber would’ve been the perfect signing for the Reds prior to his £35 million move to Arsenal.
For example, Sporting’s Goncalo Inacio was available with a £45 million release clause and would’ve solved Liverpool’s need for a left-footed centre-back.
Furthermore, earlier in the window, we were linked with a move for FC Barcelona’s Jules Kounde who could’ve added depth to the centre of defence and right-back.
Signing these players would’ve meant that we would be able to let Nathaniel Phillips and Joel Matip leave the club to raise funds for these moves.
I think it would be rather negligent from Liverpool’s hierarchy if they were to remain reluctant to sign a defender before the end of the window.