Graeme Souness thinks Liverpool’s midfield lacks a creative spark and reckons Jurgen Klopp is fully aware of this.
The Scot was talking after our 0-0 draw with Manchester City on Sunday, in which we were very organised, but lacked imagination.
At the moment, the team is waiting for the front-three to create something out of nothing, and because the likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are not on form, we’re not scoring goals.
Souness reckons our failed pursuit of Nabil Fekir in the summer suggests Klopp didn’t want it to be like this and was actually keen for a playmaker to link midfield and attack more easily.
“I think you saw Liverpool today organised, an extremely hard-working team,” Souness said on Sky Sports, cited by the Express.
“I think what happened in the summer with Liverpool, signing Fabinho, signing Keita, and also trying to get Fekir from Lyon, I think that tells you how Jurgen sees the midfield.
“Liverpool’s midfield, they’re three great lads and they work their socks off.
“But they just haven’t got that little bit of quality in games like this, where they can look one way and deliver a pass the other way.
“I think the way that Jurgen saw his midfield, the mere fact he signed two and tried to get three tells you he thinks he is a wee bit short there. I think that showed at times today.
“When they were dominant they have a lot of the ball and the danger is, when you try to go for more quality, you might not get somebody to put the same shift in. That’s the balancing act.
“Find me a player who can do that but also puts a shift in when you don’t have the ball,” he added.
“The way he wants to play Jurgen, what does he call it, rock and roll football, high tempo, high intensity.
“Would you get that from someone who has a bit more class and sees it differently?”
In all honesty, we think Naby Keita will eventually provide the spark and link needed, but at the moment the Guinean is still finding his feet.
He needs to take more risks, run with the ball and play with a bit more of the swagger that saw him rated as the Bundesliga’s best midfielder by some distance in 2016/17.
Time will tell if we’ll use the January transfer window to bring in another creative option.
Xherdan Shaqiri has done well during his cameos, but is probably more suited to a role in the front-three, where his lack of defensive acumen isn’t exposed.