John Aldridge has warned his former side against repeating history by not signing a midfield replacement for Gini Wijnaldum, following the club’s recent defensive injury crisis.
After failing to agree a new deal at Anfield, the Dutch international secured a lucrative contract as a free agent with Ligue 1 outfit PSG.
“What Wijnaldum’s decision to leave Liverpool has done is left a hole in their midfield and also in their dressing room, as he was a very popular member of the squad,” the ex-Reds forward wrote for the Sunday World.
“There have been suggestions that Liverpool won’t look to replace Wijnaldum, as they feel they have enough midfielders, but that would be a mistake.
“We had a similar debate last summer when they decided not to sign an extra centre-back. That decision proved to be fatal as an injury crisis ruined their season.
“So, I strongly believe Liverpool must sign a player to replace Wijnaldum. If they do make that move, the irony is they may end up paying out more money to get his replacement than they would have done by giving him a new deal.”
Despite the 30-year-old being one of the few of the Merseysiders’ stars to be fully available throughout the prior season, the Reds are reportedly focusing only on arranging new contracts for a number of their key stars at this current point in time.
Having been shown the foolishness of assuming the club’s current crop will be enough to take us through a campaign last term (with Aldridge referencing our centre-back injury crisis), one would fairly imagine that Liverpool won’t repeat the same error this time around.
With Naby Keita, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain waiting in the wings, we do technically have enough in the way of alternative options, though both the Guinean and the former Arsenal man have proven to be somewhat injury-prone.
The reality of the situation is that there will be injuries, and not just to our backup, with the trio of Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho all spending time on the sidelines in the prior season.
A new midfielder to help share the weight of the next campaign then must be considered an absolute priority in order to avoid repeating history.