Jurgen Klopp told which signing other than Bellingham would ‘transform’ Liverpool, with ex-Red ‘not a fan’ of Thiago

Kylian Mbappe and Declan Rice Credit: Alamy
Kylian Mbappe and Declan Rice Credit: Alamy

Former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann has named the player Jurgen Klopp needs to sign in order to ‘transform’ the club’s fortunes, and surprisingly it is not Jude Bellingham.

Liverpool did well to pick up consecutive Premier League victories over Everton and Newcastle in the build up to their Champions League clash with Real Madrid. However, their season went from bad to worse on Tuesday night when Real Madrid picked up a 5-2 victory at Anfield.

Liverpool were 2-0 up inside 15 minutes thanks to goals from Darwin Nunez and Mo Salah. Nunez delightfully flicked past Thibaut Courtois when connecting with a Salah cross, while the Egyptian got a goal of his own by finishing from close range after a Courtois mistake.

However, Vinicius Junior scored twice before the break to drag the visitors level. And they took the initiative in the tie by going 3-2 up just two minutes after the restart. Eder Militao headed home from a Luka Modric free-kick, in a move where Liverpool’s defending left a lot to be desired.

Karim Benzema then scored twice to leave Liverpool stunned, while Real are now in a strong position to make the UCL quarter-finals.

Since that result, Danny Murphy has urged Klopp to offload as many as six players as part of a big rebuild this summer. Rio Ferdinand, meanwhile, does not think Liverpool will be able to capture top target Bellingham due to them being ‘in transition’.

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Hamann, who made 283 appearances for Liverpool between 1999 and 2006, has now given his verdict on Liverpool’s struggles and the improvements that are needed, particularly in midfield.

He admits he is ‘not a fan’ of Thiago, while also naming Declan Rice as the signing needed to revamp Klopp’s midfield.

Ex-Liverpool midfielder analyses Klopp problems

“If you look at the midfield and all the players they’ve got in that position, who are you going to keep for next season or who would you like to keep?” Hamann asked on talkSPORT.

“Because obviously the ones who have got a contract, I’m not sure somebody will take them. If you look at the midfield now, you’ve got [Stefan] Bajcetic who’s done well, he’s a youngster of course you’ve got to keep him.

“Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones, they haven’t progressed. Thiago I’ve never been a fan of, I don’t think Liverpool is good enough to have a Thiago in the team at the moment.

“Fabinho hasn’t been the same, [James] Milner is coming to the end, he’s been a brilliant player. Then you’ve got [Naby] Keita and [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain who have been very disappointing since they’ve come.

“So, you probably need three of four midfielders alone and that takes a lot of money.

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“I think midfield is the area, and I think what they do need is a holding midfielder. If you add a holding midfielder in the summer, I look at Declan Rice. I think he’s a player who could really transform the team.

“You need players who make other players better and then you can build. Maybe you get one or two next to him, attacking midfielders. Bajcetic now, maybe Elliott, Jones maybe, they make that next step.

“It’s hard for a young player to progress, to improve when the team is not functioning. You can’t expect them to do the job. [Fabio] Carvalho, we’ve not seen any of him, [I] don’t know what the reason is there.”

Rice could be a brilliant signing for Liverpool. He is a dominant Premier League midfielder who captains West Ham, despite being only 24. And there has never been a better time for Liverpool to land Rice than this summer.

That is when he will enter the final 12 months of his Hammers contract. And with a fresh deal nowhere in sight, he should be available for far less than the £100million fee that has previously been suggested.

Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano has given the latest on Liverpool’s pursuit of one of the best defenders in the world.

The article Jurgen Klopp told which signing other than Bellingham would ‘transform’ Liverpool, with ex-Red ‘not a fan’ of Thiago appeared first on Teamtalk.com.