Jamie Carragher has questioned Liverpool’s decision to sign Cody Gakpo for £44 million in the January transfer window, claiming he does not believe the Dutchman is “a typical Klopp signing.”
Gakpo has failed to score in any of his six appearances since arriving at Anfield, with Liverpool in disarray on the pitch, and 10th in the Premier League table going into Monday’s Merseyside derby.
Much has been made of the Reds’ need to strengthen in midfield, but the decision was made to further strengthen the attack at the start of the year, with Gakpo the club’s only addition in the January window.
In his latest column for the Telegraph, Liverpool legend Carragher points out how Jurgen Klopp‘s side have spent around £180 million on four attackers in Luis Diaz, Fabio Carvalho, Darwin Nunez and Gakpo in the last year.
And he is far from convinced that Gakpo is a player who can deliver what Klopp usually wants from his forward players.
“In attack, Diaz started his Liverpool brilliantly but Nunez is a work in progress, and I am baffled watching Gakpo’s early performances,” he wrote.
“Gakpo is not a typical Klopp signing, lacking lightning pace and the capacity to lead a high press.
“Why commit up to £45 million on someone who will be on the bench when Diaz and Diogo Jota are fit? Especially when another area of the team needed strengthening?”
Carragher went on to question Klopp’s involvement in the club’s decision to hand captain Jordan Henderson a new four-year contract in the summer of 2021.
Initial reports at the time suggested talks over a new deal between Henderson and the club had reached an impasse, before the Liverpool boss is believed to have stepped in.
Soon after, it emerged that previous sporting director Michael Edwards was considering leaving the club, with Carragher concerned Klopp is staying too loyal to some of the older players on the club’s books.
“Henderson has given Liverpool sterling service, but the length of that contract was a surprise, contradicting FSG’s policies with regards players in their 30s,” Carragher continued.
“There was an obvious change of tack after Klopp personally intervened after reports emerged Henderson might leave. ‘We will sort it. No doubt about it’, Klopp said.
“Within 24 hours of an agreement, sporting director Michael Edwards was reported as considering his future, and has since left. The timing was probably coincidental, but there were strong suggestions – not contradicted – that there were internal disagreements about the length and value of Henderson’s extension.
“Klopp has openly said Liverpool need to refresh and reset, but he seems unwilling to accept Firmino’s declining influence and increasing injury problems, while Milner has been a bit part player for years.
“In the face of mounting evidence that the race is run for core members of a successful team, it is strange that Edwards’ successor, Julian Ward, will also leave this summer, as have other members of the data and analytics department.
Nonetheless, Carragher still says he would “change everyone else at the club before Klopp” with Liverpool expected to undergo an overhaul to their playing squad in the transfer window.
He does, however, believe the timing of Liverpool’s need for a new sporting director “could not be worse,” with the club still yet to identify a replacement for Ward.
Some strong sentiments from Carragher, but there certainly won’t be too many Reds that disagree with him.