Liverpool told their decision on ‘dressing room leader’ is why

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reviews the Spurs win

Graeme Souness believes Liverpool’s defence ‘aren’t their normal selves’ without a pressing midfielder like Georginio Wijnaldum in front of them. Wijnaldum left the Reds in 2021 and was a highly valued member of the team.

Jurgen Klopp described the Dutchman as a ‘dressing room leader’ and clearly thought a lot of him on and off the pitch. Liverpool have looked extremely thin in the centre of the park this season thanks in part to a string of injuries and a mixture of players that are either too old or too young to hold down the position.

And Souness claims that it’s making Virgil Van Dijk and co suffer as a result. Talking about which areas Liverpool’s squad needs strengthening following a dramatic 4-3 Premier League victory over Tottenham on Sunday, Souness said: “I think going forward Liverpool have enough firepower. I think they need to strengthen their midfield.”

Jamie Carragher interrupted: “And the defence after watching that.”

Souness replied: “Well, maybe centre back, and depending on whether they persist down the route of trying to push Trent in there, but going forward for them they have enough firepower – you don’t have to be playing well to win games if you’ve got goals in your team.

“I think that back four – with Matip – have been fabulous for a number of years but the midfield, if you go back to the start of the season, we were pointing fingers at Liverpool’s back four, and for me, yes, some of them weren’t their normal selves.

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“But a lot of it stems from the midfield, where you’ve got a midfield that are not continually putting the ball under pressure like Liverpool for a good five years – that Wijnaldum, Henderson – who as a midfield player I would have not liked to have played against them. I think address that and Liverpool will be fine.”

Liverpool came away the eventual victors against Tottenham but threw away a healthy 3-0 lead in the process. For the first goal, the often-formidable Van Dijk – a man who wasn’t dribbled past by a single player during the 2018/2019 Premier League season – was turned inside out by Ivan Perisic as the Croatian calmy floated the ball into Harry Kane’s path.

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