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Jamie Carragher assesses Liverpool’s January business after Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies arrivals


Ozan Kabak completed a loan move from Schalke to Liverpool on transfer deadline day (Picture: Getty)

Jamie Carragher says the addition of Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies has added some much-needed depth to Liverpool’s defensive ranks but believes the club ideally could have done with a ‘£50-60m’ centre-back to boost their dwindling title hopes this January.

The Premier League champions have been decimated by injuries to a host of their key players this season, especially at the back where they have lost Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

As a result, Jurgen Klopp has fielded a staggering 16 different centre-back pairings in all competitions this term, with captain Jordan Henderson even having to drop back from midfield.

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The Merseyside giants left it late to strengthen this winter once the severity of Matip’s injury became clear and completed deadline day moves for Schalke’s Kabak and Preston’s Davies, who put pen to paper on temporary and permanent deals respectively.

On Liverpool’s January business, club legend Carragher told Sky Sports: ‘I said I didn’t think Liverpool could win the league without Virgil van Dijk and they actually surprised me how well they did in the month or six weeks later after that.

‘But I did feel they had to sign a big centre-back in January. It’s easy for me to say that because I don’t know the financial situation and I don’t know the players that are available so I think it was always going to be very difficult to achieve that really.

‘The players they’ve brought in now, I’d have liked that to have happened a month ago really and I don’t think those signings would have come in, only for Matip being out for the remainder of the season.

‘If that injury hadn’t happened to Matip, I think Liverpool would have stuck with what they’ve got and kept the money available for the end of the season.

‘So they’ve brought two players in, I don’t know too much about any of these players, I’ve only seen highlights now since they’ve signed but one’s for £500,000 from Preston and the rest in add-ons, and the other is on loan for £500,000.

‘It shows the difficulties Liverpool and maybe other clubs will find out financially, with the pandemic, with the uncertainty in the future, will there be crowds back? Will there be TV deals? There’s probably more to it than we even realise financially and it just shows where one of the biggest and richest clubs in the world are financially.

‘The fact they couldn’t go and buy, I wouldn’t say a proper centre-back, but the one I was talking about. Maybe that may come in the summer but I’m not even sure about that.’

Davies put pen to paper on a long-term contract with the Reds (Picture: Getty)

The former Liverpool and England centre-back added: ‘If Kabak comes in and does well and they can then buy him for £18m, I think that’ll be Liverpool done at centre-back and they’ll wait for the three centre-backs to return.

‘They’ll have him and Davies from Preston, that’ll give you a few numbers in there as well.

‘But it certainly wasn’t the £50-60m defender that I felt they needed at some stage to fill in this season and maybe I was a bit optimistic with the situation financially for all clubs.’

Brighton’s stunning 1-0 victory at Anfield last night leaves Liverpool down in fourth place ahead of their trip to league leaders Manchester City this weekend.

Pep Guardiola’s men, who finished runners-up to Liverpool last term, are riding a 13-match unbeaten streak in all competitions and have a game in hand over their title rivals.

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