Jurgen Klopp’s suggestion that he would be a ‘real idiot’ to change his mind about the balance of Liverpool’s squad following their 2-0 loss at Burnley was typically frank, but following the Reds’ rollercoaster start to the campaign, it may be time for panic buying nonetheless.
Liverpool and Stoke let in the most goals during the first two Premier League gameweeks of the campaign, shipping five each, and while the lauded German tacitly admitted the dire need for a new left-back by dropping Alberto Moreno at Turf Moor, he wasn’t conceding much else:
“I know you [the media] would all buy a left-back – but a midfielder?
“Emre Can was on the bench, he had a back problem, Lucas Leiva is injured and you ask me for a hard midfield player?
“The answer is I don’t know – we will see.”
Leaving aside the raft of rumours linking Lucas away from Anfield this summer, and the fact that 22-year-old Can is entirely unproven in the midfield anchor role, Klopp has other defensive issues that need urgent attention.
Former Schalke centre-half Joel Matip has yet to play a minute in the Premier League, despite sitting on the bench while fellow newboy Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren – hardly a defender that inspires confidence despite an improved campaign last term – have helped leak five goals in two games.
With Mamadou Sakho seemingly frozen out at Anfield, Klopp’s centre-half ranks beyond the aforementioned trio will be limited to Joe Gomez and Andre Wisdom, two men who generally turn out at full-back, plus Tiago Ilori, who’s yet to make a top-flight appearance in three years at Anfield.
That doesn’t appear to be a potential Premier League-winning centre-half sextet, and the men behind Klopp’s defence don’t quite measure up to Liverpool’s title rivals either.
Loris Karius, voted the second best keeper in the Bundesliga last term, was bought from Mainz seemingly to replace Simon Mignolet in goal, but the 23-year-old is out injured until late-September at the earliest, leaving the much-maligned Belgian between the sticks and clearly lacking confidence.
Furthermore, we have no idea how Karius will adapt to English football.
Never mind a new left-back and midfielder, Liverpool should be keeping an eye on available goalkeepers and centre-halves between now and the close of the transfer window.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.