LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 19, 2020: Former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher (R) and former Manchester United player Gary Neville (L) working for Sky Sports before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Carragher believes Liverpool won’t win the title if they don’t sign a centre-back

Jamie Carragher has fuelled a popular argument that Liverpool will not have the quality to win the Premier League title without signing a new centre-back this month.

Jurgen Klopp named his 10th centre-back combination in 17 league games on Monday night, as Jordan Henderson started alongside Fabinho at St Mary’s.

The resulting 1-0 loss to Southampton was arguably the fault of neither makeshift defender, but the continued uncertainty at the back is undoubtedly a factor behind a frustrating run of form this season.

Blame cannot solely be apportioned to Klopp, of course, with injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip out of his hands, but with the January transfer window now open, there is an opportunity to address the need for another accomplished option.

Carragher believes that signing a new centre-back – with many already linked, including Lille’s Sven Botman, Salzburg’s Max Wober, Torino’s Gleison Bremer and Braga’s David Carmo – is imperative to the Reds’ title hopes.

“The results they’ve had of late is nothing to do with them defensively, they’re not conceding goals left, right and centre,” the ex-Liverpool defender told Sky Sports after the game.

“It’s going forward that’s the problem.

“But when you go into games, it’s almost like when you’ve got a ‘keeper that you don’t fully trust, everyone’s a little bit…you’re always on edge, you’re always thinking something could happen.

“Forget Van Dijk or Joe Gomez, they’re out. I think, number one, it’s imperative Liverpool sign someone in January, that’s obvious.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Monday, January 4, 2021: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson looks dejected during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St Mary's Stadium. Southampton won 1-0. (Pic by Propaganda)

“I think the fact they played Jordan Henderson tonight at centre-back, it’s not going to do a lot for the two lads on the bench, confidence-wise.

“So if he goes back to them, how do they feel if there’s two midfield players playing there? That tells me that they’re not going to be feeling great if they go back in.

Jordan Henderson is not a centre-back. He found it tough today, he did OK – he did well, considering it’s not his position.

“I said before the game, [Southampton] would be delighted when the teamsheet comes in, you would be.

“But for me, I can’t see Liverpool winning the league if they don’t bring a centre-back in – I said that on the back of the Everton game, with Van Dijk, I thought it would be very difficult.

“I still think Liverpool have enough quality to sort of really go for the title if they don’t bring someone in, but I just think it’s a really tough ask if they don’t bring anyone in.”