Liverpool warned Chelsea gap will stretch unless January window used to make one signing

Jurgen Klopp reviews Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Brighton

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Liverpool have been warned that the three-point gap separating them from Premier League leaders Chelsea will widen if they do not address one key area in the January transfer window. Jurgen Klopp’s side have enjoyed a successful start to the season and are the only remaining unbeaten team. 

The Reds surprisingly stalled on Saturday, gifting Brighton a point after leading 2-0 at Anfield.  

It was a warning to Liverpool that form can quickly dip. They went into that game against the Seagulls having won 5-0 in each of their previous two matches, including against Manchester United.  

And Klopp was dealt a further blow when midfielder Naby Keita went off injured inside the first half.  

The Guinean had been carried off against United having been the victim of a horror challenge by Paul Pogba but Klopp declared the 26-year-old fit to face Brighton.  

He lasted just 19 minutes before being withdrawn with a separate issue. Liverpool have confirmed that Keita has a hamstring problem and will undergo further tests. 

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And former Reds forward Stan Collymore believes Liverpool need to sign a new midfielder due to their injury issues. Klopp frequently suggested that he did not want fresh options in the area during the summer but several midfielders have already missed large parts of the season.  

Collymore has warned that Klopp’s side will soon fall away from their title rivals if they fail to address the problem. 

“Naby, I’m worried, I’ve got to be honest,” the 50-year-old told Liverpool site Empire of the Kop.  

“On Empire of the Kop this season, there’s nobody that’s batted for him more than me but the questions I keep getting back from people when I see the videos posted on social media are: ‘Stan, we have to wrap him in cotton wool’, ‘Stan, he’s like glass’, ‘Stan, he doesn’t play the requisite amount of games because of injury’ and he’s injured again.

“The central hub of Liverpool’s midfield now needs every one of the technical staff, every one of the recruitment staff, to look at it and say: ‘Is there an argument that we need to bring somebody in, in midfield?’ 

“I believe the answer to the argument is yes. Don’t now let this three-point gap to Chelsea become six or nine because you haven’t addressed those issues.” 

Liverpool were unlucky to have a Sadio Mane goal ruled out for handball. The striker charged down a Robert Sanchez kick and the ball bounced into the net via his arm.

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That would have made the score 3-0. Klopp, though, admitted that the draw felt like a loss.  

“It feels like a defeat. It’s not only because we were 2-0 up and didn’t win, it’s because the game I saw, we scored two of the most beautiful goals I’ve ever seen us score, which were disallowed,” he told the BBC. 

“The pressing goal for Sadio was just unlucky, if you want to teach pressing, you would show this situation. But disallowed for handball, I guess.

“Top moments in the first half where we showed how we can hurt Brighton, played some top passes through the centre and played really good football but were only 2-0.

“In the second half, we were not good enough. The body language I didn’t like at all. It was like ‘oh my God, it’s really tough’. Yeah, it was clear before the game. 

“The best way to defend Brighton is to have the ball yourself and play in the spaces where they are exposed, but we didn’t do that and that’s a problem.”
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