Liverpool are the ultimate conundrum in football and surely must be the most frustrating team to follow in the game right now. Under Jürgen Klopp they can play football from the gods one minute and are then capable of the most farcical of errors the next.
It makes them essential viewing for the neutral, but, if they want to challenge for the Holy Grail that is the Premier League title, there needs to be a change – and fast.
With the January transfer window looming, it is obvious that the Reds backline is their major Achilles’ heel. They are well-stocked at right-back, but it is the other three positions across the defence that Klopp needs to address first.
The major part that has been the Merseysiders’ weak spot since Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia departed; is at centre-back.
To me none of the current centre-backs at Liverpool are essentially bad players. Their main issue is that they do not concentrate for the full 90 minutes and there’s no leader among them.
When you watch Liverpool, they literally need to score four goals before you can start to feel relaxed. They concede a goal and fall to pieces all too often, making you sense the next gaffe is just around the corner.
Dejan Lovren is finished as a long-term prospect after his recent embarrassment against Tottenham. My guess is he’ll be sold in the summer, but not as early as January.
Joel Matip is decent but doesn’t command his troops like a man of his stature should and can appear a little lightweight at times.
Joe Gomez has really come on this season and at centre-back is where he will eventually play, but he cannot be trusted just yet.
Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk is the man all Reds fans want to come in and he would certainly help. He is a huge presence and is terrific in the air. He’s also quick and good with his feet, plus he absolutely commands his unit. But he alone will not fix Liverpool’s defensive woes.
Left-back; Alberto Moreno; flattered to deceive with some good displays earlier this season but has reverted to his previous form in recent weeks, culminating in that horrific performance against Sevilla in the Champions League a fortnight ago.
You have to give Jürgen Klopp credit for persisting with the Spaniard, but, again, he’s another that just cannot be trusted. Andy Robertson has looked good when he’s come in, but he is still to be tested defensively, and the word is that Klopp is looking at bringing in Roma’s Emerson Palmieri or Borussia Dortmund’s Raphael Guerreiro.
The other problem position is in goal where Simon Mignolet has had four seasons but still failed to make the position his own. The Belgian has never convinced and you feel at times that none of that defensive unit actually believes in each other – hence all the errors.
Number two goalkeeper; Loris Karius; had a horrible first season at Anfield, but does have time on his side and may develop into a top keeper in the future – but he’s not there yet.
Reports in Spain indicate that Liverpool are looking at Costa Rica stopper; Keylor Navas, who is currently unsettled at Real Madrid.
Klopp is a manager who likes to stay loyal to his players and I would be surprised to see additions in all three positions in the January window. However, a new centre-back is a must for the second half of the season.