Dietmar Hamann: Jurgen Klopp needs a player like these Arsenal, Chelsea signings
The former Liverpool midfielder claims that Emre Can and Jordan Henderson lack the tactical nous of N'Golo Kante and Grant Xhaka
Dietmar Hamann believes Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp needs a player like Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka or Chelsea defender midfielder N’Golo Kante.
The Reds are in third place in the Premier League table and three points adrift of the current leaders Chelsea after their 4-3 loss to Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium last weekend.
The 18-time English champions signed seven players in the summer transfer window after Klopp led Liverpool to an eighth-place finish in his first campaign in the 2015-16 season.
The Reds boss has been utilising Germany international Emre Can and England midfielder Jordan Henderson in holding midfield roles this season.
However, former Liverpool star Hamann believes the Merseyside outfit lack tactical nous in midfield ahead of their clash against West Ham United at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
“Game management has been lacking at the club for a couple of years and the fact that there’s no holding midfielder in that system is wrong,” Hamann told Paddy Power’s blog.
“It puts a question over their title credentials. Liverpool need someone who steadies things, offers balance and provides the solidity to commit players forward. Throughout the team they lack a little bit of steel.
“Xhaka brings it to Arsenal, Kante and Matic offer it to Chelsea. Man City are in a similar position to Liverpool, they’re missing that toughness in the centre of the park as well. You can’t play end-to-end football and win the Premier League, it’s not what top teams do.
“Emre Can is attack-minded and Jordan Henderson likes to get around the pitch, but they’ve not got enough tactical knowledge in the middle of the park to compete at the very top.
“There’s times when you need to be nasty.”
Liverpool have only lost two Premier League games in 2016-17 season so far, suffering defeats by Burnley and Bournemouth.
The Hammers lost 5-1 to Arsenal in their last Premier League fixture at the London Stadium.