Liverpool v Southampton: Match in Pictures
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Liverpool have one of the strongest starting eleven’s in the Premier League. However, their squad depth has raised questions previously, and one former Premier League star thinks that they need to bolster their midfield ranks by signing Aston Villa's John McGinn.
The departure of Georginio Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer led many to believe that the Reds would bring in a top-quality replacement before the start of the campaign.
However, manager Jurgen Klopp put his faith in the players already at his disposal and headed into the season with just one new signing – central defender Ibrahima Konate.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss trusted that previously out of favour stars Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara would step up, and young talents Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones would also be fit and ready if required.
But Klopp may not have anticipated the injury troubles that his side have suffered this season.
Cascarino has called for Liverpool to sign McGinn (Image: Getty)
With the January transfer window on the horizon, if Liverpool are keen to sign another midfielder then former Chelsea star Tony Cascarino has encouraged them to go after Scotland international McGinn.
Writing for The Times , Cascarino said: "John McGinn is good enough to be playing for a Champions League club, and at 27 he's still got the best years of his career ahead of him.
"He's a goal threat and he is tough to shake off the ball. He's got that same body shape Wayne Rooney had, but don't mistake that for him being out of condition.
"I think he would suit the way Liverpool play and make a great replacement for Jordan Henderson. But Steven Gerrard will know all of this and the Villa manager will do all he can to keep him."
Liverpool have splashed the cash previously (Image: Express Sport)
McGinn has impressed since Villa were promoted into the Premier League, with his strength, passing ability and creativity helping his club steer clear of safety to date.
So far this season, the 27-year-old, in 12 appearances, has scored three goals and assisted one, and he may have registered more of the latter tally had his teammates had been more clinical – creating 17 chances and two big chances.
The midfielder is, according to transfermarkt , worth £27million, though Villa may bump that price up even further given their hopes of securing European football in the near future.
With Keita, Jones, Elliott and Roberto Firmino – who can play as a no.10 – all injured for the Merseyside derby on Wednesday, it would be no shock if Klopp was slightly concerned by how many problems he could face in the centre of the park.
And Cascarino isn't the only former star who believes Liverpool need to sign a midfielder.
Jordan Henderson has been crucial for Liverpool (Image: Getty)
Recently, 19-year-old Tyler Morton has been handed his league debut and Champions League debut, but former Leeds star Kevin Phillips believes relying on the youngster this soon in his career is too much pressure.
Speaking to Football Insider , Phillips said: "It's brilliant that he has come in and taken his chance. Liverpool have some great players coming through their academy.
"But let's be honest, it's big pressure to put on a young player. It is hard to rely on a young kid throughout the season. This is Liverpool we are talking about. They are fighting on all fronts this season.
"I think it would be a big mistake if a top-class midfielder isn't signed in January. It should be. Or, maybe next summer.
"If you go out and do that you can allow Morton to develop at the right space. Rather than put pressure on him. It's fantastic that he has got some minutes. But I still think Liverpool will go out and spend money in that area."
It remains to be seen whether Klopp listens to both Cascarino and Phillips, or he trusts his gut, again, and continues to play those already donning the Liverpool badge on their chest.
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