Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp might be wise to listen to transfer advice from Reds legend Jamie Carragher. The German missed a huge opportunity to put his side between his side and Arsenal in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday, although the 10-man Arsenal maintained a thrilling 0-0 draw.
Despite suffering an embarrassing defeat against Nottingham Forest on Sunday, Arsenal have become a staunch opponent in recent weeks.
As such, Klopp cannot be blamed for taking a cautious approach to his team selection, with Jordan Henderson and James Milner starting both sides of Fabinho in midfield.
While that gave them more solidity against a confident side, it undoubtedly kept them away from the attacking threat for which Liverpool were so famous under Klopp.
In fact, the home team failed to score a single shot on goal until second-half injury time against their outnumbered opponents.
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Creative sparks like Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain started off the bench, and although both appeared in the second half, the performances highlighted a shortage in Klopp’s squad.
In fact, the Reds have been linked with a star who can give them a lot of solidity when they’re at the back, and a lot of threat going the other way.
When asked who he would like to sign for his former club, Carragher described young Borussia Dortmund midfielder Judd Bellingham.
The 18-year-old has become one of the first names on the squad in Germany, forging an exciting partnership with attacking sensation Erling Haaland.
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While he has won plaudits for his stubborn playing style and challenging tackle, particularly given his young age, Bellingham has also scored an impressive eight goals in 16 Bundesliga appearances this season.
Ultimately, that could give Klopp a missing ingredient – a player who can grab the game by the scruff without leaving the rest of his teammates vulnerable defensively.
With the Birmingham City youth producer enjoying football in Dortmund, there is little hope of a move this month.
But the Reds are still tempted to move for the youngster during the summer, when the FSG owners are supposed to be planning a revamp after a series of quiet transfer periods.
They will inevitably have to shy away from attention from the continent’s big hitters, although early career paths such as those of Jadon Sancho and Demarai Gray suggest Bellingham may prefer to return to his homeland.
Whatever the case, his services won’t come cheap, and presumably Dortmund has charged a whopping £101m price tag on his head.
But the Reds have not spent the money over the past two years and would have got their hands on the difference-maker now and in the future.
Nowhere is that more important than in Thursday’s clash with Arsenal, where a lack of elaborate options left an opportunity for Klopp and Liverpool’s side.