Jamie Carragher claims mistake made by Jurgen Klopp is impacting Virgil van Dijk

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Jamie Carragher claims mistake made by Jurgen Klopp is impacting Virgil van Dijk
Jamie Carragher claims mistake made by Jurgen Klopp is impacting Virgil van Dijk

Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool need to sign a holding midfielder to protect Jurgen Klopp's defence amid Virgil van Dijk's woes.

Van Dijk, 31, was hooked at half-time during Liverpool's 3-1 defeat at Brentford on Monday night, with Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbeumo both finding the net. An own goal from Ibrahima Konate and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's header finished off the scoring.

The result leaves Liverpool sixth in the Premier League table, four points behind Manchester United in fourth having played a game more. The Reds are danger of missing out on a Champions League spot and Carragher is urging them to fix their midfield.

"We talk about Van Dijk as one of the best centre backs in the world, and this season we’re saying he’s not at his best - he wasn’t at his best today," admitted Carragher. "But do you know what it tells me? I don’t think he’s a completely different player, no matter how good you are as a defender, if you haven’t got protection in front of you, it’s very difficult.

"I go back to the best centre back I think I’ve ever seen in my life, Franco Baresi, but he had an unbelievable midfield in front of him [at AC Milan] in terms of [Carlo] Ancelotti, [Frank] Rijkaard - those people doing jobs in front. No matter how good you are as a centre back, you need protection, if you don’t have that you’ve got no chance."

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Liverpool's midfield is arguably their weakest department due to the advancing years of Jordan Henderson (32), Thiago Alcantara (31) and Fabinho (29). Furthermore, James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all out of contract in the summer.

Jamie Carragher claims mistake made by Jurgen Klopp is impacting Virgil van DijkVirgil van Dijk struggled during Liverpool's defeat to Brentford on Monday night (AFP via Getty Images)

Do you think Liverpool should sign a central midfielder in January? Let us know in the comments below!

Reds fans are hoping they can sign a new central midfielder sooner rather than later. Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham is thought to be their primary target, but the 19-year-old could cost more than £130million after impressing at the recent World Cup.

Another potential option is Enzo Fernandez, but the 21-year-old's release clause at Benfica is a whopping £102m. Liverpool are also reportedly interested in Brighton pair Moises Caicedo, 21, and Alexis Mac Allister, 24, but the Seagulls aren't interested in selling.

Liverpool's need to sign a central midfielder begs the question why they spent £45m on PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo. The Netherlands international, 23, is a bargain at that price - yet that money could've been used on a central midfielder.

Gakpo was ineligible to face Brentford on Monday night due to the necessary paperwork not being completed in time. The World Cup star is now expected to make his Liverpool debut in their FA Cup game against Wolves at Anfield on Saturday.

Speaking of Wolves, The Telegraph claim Liverpool are interested in signing their midfielder Matheus Nunes. The Portugal international, 24, only joined Wolves from Sporting Lisbon in a £38m deal in August but has made a slow start to life in England.

Liverpool were interested in signing Nunes before his move to Molineux and it's claimed they will make a £44m bid for him at the end of this season. Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola described Nunes as "one of the best players in the world" last year.

Tom Blow

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