The Reds legend is not convinced that a top talent can be acquired during the January window, especially one attracting rival interest
Dayot Upamecano would be “a great signing for Liverpool” admits John Barnes, but the Reds legend is not convinced that the RB Leipzig defender could be acquired in January or that rival interest can be fended off.
Jurgen Klopp continues to mull over his options when it comes to defensive reinforcements at Anfield.
With Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip taking in spells on the sidelines, the reigning Premier League champions have faced calls to bring in cover.
Various targets have been mooted, with France international Upamecano joined on that list by the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, David Alaba and Ben White.
No proven performer will come cheap in the winter window, though, while any top talent will be attracting admiring glances from outside of Anfield.
Barnes admits those issues present a problem for Klopp, with it possible that he may have to make do until senior stars step back off the treatment table.
The Reds legend told BonusCodeBets: “All top teams are looking at him (Upamecano), and the reason being is he’s one of the best centre-backs in the world.
“It would have been better had he been available now in January, because at the end of the season we might not need a centre-back or have the problems that we have now.
“If we sign a centre-back now for just short term, we then have another centre-back, alongside all the others that are going to be available next season.
“I feel that if any top player becomes available, any team will be looking at him, not just Liverpool. It’s the same with Koulibaly at Napoli, he’s one wanted by a lot of other clubs also.
“But yes, Upamecano would be a great signing for Liverpool. He’s young, very talented and the right profile of player we should be looking at.
“It would be a good signing if we can get him of course, as there will be many other teams after him as well.”
For now, Liverpool’s focus is locked on a crunch clash with old adversaries Manchester United – with the Red Devils due at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Klopp will have a number of players unavailable for that contest, but Spanish playmaker Thiago Alcantara is fully fit again and Barnes believes he can be a game-changer for the Reds against the right opposition.
He added on the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich midfielder: “It’s not a new way of playing for Liverpool just because they brought Thiago in, last season they dominated every single game in the league with possession. Except maybe when they played against Manchester City as they did take the lion’s share of the ball.
“It didn’t surprise me to see him involved against Aston Villa as these are the games when you have 70 or 80 per cent possession. Those games are made for Thiago.
“When you play against teams who are going to try and have as much possession as Liverpool do, you may need a more defensive midfield player in the middle of the pitch. The likes of [James] Milner, [Jordan] Henderson, [Georginio] Wijnaldum etc. These are the kind of games where Thiago might not play.
“You can properly look at the games, who they’re playing against, whether they feel they’re going to be in a dominating position and whether it is a sensible decision to play him.
“I’ve said all along, since the start of the season, it didn’t surprise me when he came on against Chelsea and they were down to 10 men, Liverpool knew they were going to dominate possession and he is so effective when it comes to dictating play.
“He’s a fantastic player and gives Liverpool the option in terms of playing differently with his creativity in midfield, particularly when teams defend deep in numbers whereby they’re in tight spaces.
“He’s our best midfield player, but not every game is going to be like that. If it’s an open game, whereby you need a stronger runner like Wijnaldum or Henderson to break forward without the ball because there’s lots of space, maybe you don’t play him.”
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