Speaking as part of Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Jamie Carragher said that Liverpool need to sign physically capable players this January.
Carragher was asked which was the most important position for Liverpool to look to strengthen in the January transfer window.
This came after Liverpool’s 3-0 defeat away to Watford on Sunday afternoon, and drawing on his experience of former Reds managers Rafa Benitez and Gerard Houllier, the club legend outlined a number of key positions that Jurgen Klopp will want to reinforce.
“I think yesterday’s performance and result will be in his mind for the rest of the season,” he said.
“It reminds me of Houllier and Benitez in their first season.
“The teams they inherited weren’t able to cope, physically, with the Premier League, and this Liverpool team isn’t.
“What they did was both bought a ‘keeper, both bought a holding midfield player, Benitez got [Peter] Crouch—6’7″—up front and Houllier bought two centre-backs.
“If I was Klopp, I’d be thinking goalkeeper, two centre-backs and a holding midfield player.
“Forget the City and Chelsea results—you play the top teams once a month.
“This is what the Premier League‘s like, and Liverpool haven’t got the players to cope in those games.”
Carragher’s point is an important one, with Houllier’s additions of Sander Westerveld, Stephane Henchoz, Sami Hyypia and Dietmar Hamann in his first full season in sole charge at Liverpool proving hugely influential.
In his second season on Merseyside, Benitez brought in Pepe Reina and Momo Sissoko alongside Crouch, while he was key to moving Carragher into the central role that saw him thrive.
These were players who, largely without Premier League experience, were built to withstand its rigours.
This is a reality that Klopp must get to grips with, and as Carragher attests, he would be wise to look to his predecessors for inspiration.