Liverpool have been told they should have prioritised a midfielder instead of signing Cody Gakpo this month in a survey of Express Sport readers. Jurgen Klopp has suggested the Reds will not be strengthening in the centre of the park despite his squad’s poor form in the Premier League.
Having been two wins from a quadruple last season, Liverpool are currently 16 points off league leaders Arsenal after playing 17 matches. Klopp’s side have won just eight of 17 games, losing five – over double the amount they amassed in 38 matches last term – and face a fight for the top four.
Many have pointed the finger at Liverpool’s ageing midfield which has lost its legs and intensity this season. They were dominated by Wolves in the FA Cup last Saturday having been outfought in a defeat at Brentford the previous Monday.
And in a poll of Express Sport readers, which yielded over 17,000 responses, 75.2 per cent voted that Liverpool should have signed a midfielder instead of Gakpo. Just 24.8 per cent disagreed.
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Gakpo joined from PSV at the start of the January transfer window for a fee rising to £44million. The left-sided attacker, who can play as a centre-forward, arrived after scoring three goals at the Qatar World Cup for the Netherlands.
The Dutchman played against Wolves in the FA Cup and will make his league debut at Brighton today (Saturday). But while his signing helps address the long-term absences of Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz, many Liverpool fans feel midfield is an area of the squad in crucial need of upgrades.
Liverpool have only permanently signed one senior central midfielder since winning the Champions League in 2019, with Thiago Alcantara joining in the summer of 2020 for £25m. Arthur Melo joined on loan from Juventus in the summer but injury has meant he has played just 13 minutes for the club.
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Arthur is currently one of four midfielders to leave this summer, along with the out-of-contract trio Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner. Klopp on Friday ruled out more January signings, saying: “I don’t think so. The situation is like it is. We have to talk about it because you ask me about it but, in the end, my job is to use the boys I have – that’s it.
“I like the teams we line up (with), but when we start changing you realise up front we don’t have three, four, five options and if we have options, they get pretty young immediately. That’s fine but it’s the situation and you cannot solve all the problems in the transfer window. I know in a dreamland, you just buy players and bring them in but I don’t see that coming.
“We cannot sort the problems like other teams are doing, and I know it creates headlines, but we do it our way, we really squeeze everything out. It’s just not that easy, you cannot sort the problems, especially injuries, in the transfer window.”