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Jamie Carragher on the type of player Liverpool need after Chelsea defeat

Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool need to sign a player similar to Philippe Coutinho to create chances when the Reds are struggling to break down opposition defences.

On Thursday night, Liverpool suffered a fifth consecutive home defeat for the first time in the club’s history and Jamie Carragher expressed serious concerns about the Reds’ ability to find the net.

While Carragher admitted his surprise when Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s top scorer this season, was withdrawn on the hour-mark, the former Reds defender insisted that Jurgen Klopp needs to prioritise the signing of a playmaker as the manager’s tactics have not been working in recent weeks.

According to Carragher, Liverpool’s struggles to create chances are much more concerning than the injury crisis that many have pointed to as the reason for the Premier League champions’ lacklustre title defence.

“Klopp’s never been shy in taking Salah off the pitch,” Carragher told Sky Sports. “It’s not a case where he’s worried of taking his main player off. He’s taken him off in certain games where Salah has been poor. He’s a big goal threat, but a lot of the time where he’s been taken off in the past, Liverpool’s attacking play has been breaking down. You could understand it.

Jamie Carragher

“He wasn’t at his best tonight, but it wasn’t one of those games where he was losing possession. He just didn’t have much of the ball. You’ve got to remember that Salah is not a great player with the ball. He’s better off the ball, making runs and scoring goals.

“Salah is a great goalscorer and what Liverpool have lacked is a goal, and it’s what they needed in that second half. I was thinking whether there was something in the number of games he’s played, but I don’t know. It’s hard to question Klopp, but I did think it was a strange one. When you need a goal late on, you need as many people on the pitch who can score you a goal, basically.

“It’s not the first time he’s done it and it won’t be the last. At this moment, even with Salah on the pitch for an hour, Liverpool didn’t look like scoring and that for me is a bigger problem than what’s going on at the back.

“With the defensive issues, you’ve always got in the back of your mind that next season, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez will be back. But when you’re looking at the attack or the front six – and this is why I’ve been critical of Liverpool in games before – you can’t use the defence as an excuse.

“The front six at this moment are not looking dangerous enough and there’s no one really out injured too much. You could say Fabinho and Jordan Henderson are missing in midfield but they’re more defensive players. That’s the real worry for me going forward – where the goals are going to come from next season.

“Diogo Jota will help that – he looked sharp when he came on. But Liverpool need to do something big in the transfer market in terms of bringing someone in to score goals. It’ll be difficult for Liverpool to finish in the top four as Chelsea were really impressive – they’ve got a really top squad.

“It’ll be difficult to stop them. When you look at West Ham and Everton, they’re in much better form than Liverpool right now. I don’t think it’s down to a lack of effort, but there’s just something missing. Maybe we’ll only get to the bottom of it next season when we see the crowds back. They just don’t seem there in terms of energy and pace.

Liverpool

“Klopp famously said that his pressing is better than any No 10, but when you look at Liverpool right now, they look like they need a No 10. They need that type of player as the pressing is not quite there.

“Teams are coming to defend deep, and Liverpool haven’t got anyone between the lines to play that pass. They had Philippe Coutinho but he left so they built in other areas. But they need that type of player.

“Without the pressing quality they had to help create chances, Liverpool haven’t got anyone who can make that final pass.”

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