Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge says Jurgen Klopp must sign some “battlers” in the January transfer window.
Aldridge, 57, claims Klopp could do with strengthening the whole “spine” of his side after the 3-0 hammering at Watford on Sunday, but believes the German tactician must make adding some steel to his side a priority.
“There is no doubt that the Liverpool squad needs strengthening in January,” Aldridge wrote in his Liverpool Echo column.
“We need more battlers because we’re getting out-fought. It happened against West Brom and it happened again against Watford,.
“As the old saying goes, you need to win the individual battles and then the quality shines through. We failed to win those battles at Vicarage Road.
“In terms of positions where we need to buy, you could go right through the spine of the team – centre-half, centre midfield, striker.
“I was watching Sunday’s game with a lot of the ex-players as it was our Christmas drinks and that performance put a dampener on the day. There were no positives to take from it.
“I know Watford have been doing well and you can’t take anything for granted but you can’t go to Vicarage Road and lose 3-0. You have to stand up and be counted.
“Watford never gave us the space to play. They fought for everything and out-battled us.”
Aldridge defended under-fire reserve goalkeeper Adam Bogdan, who he claims was unlucky in his first Premier League start for the club at Vicarage Road.
“Adam Bogdan made a mistake for the first goal but he was unlucky because he had both hands on the ball before it was knocked in. The referee got that wrong but I wouldn’t be too critical of him because it was a close call,” added Aldridge.
“Bogdan had a hairy first quarter but he couldn’t be blamed for the other goals and had a decent second half. I think Bogdan’s a good keeper and I hope he doesn’t allow that to affect him. Something like that can make you stronger.
“If Bogdan had had a stormer he would have given the manager a dilemma. But if Simon Mignolet is fit for Boxing Day then he will probably come back in.”
The former Liverpool striker also criticised Martin Skrtel and said Liverpool’s set-pieces – both defending and attacking need to “drastically improve”.
“Martin Skrtel has to do better for the second goal. He has to use his left foot and stick the ball in the stands or behind for a corner, instead of just waving his right boot like he did,” added Aldridge.
“I know what Jurgen Klopp was hoping for by starting with the front three who tore Man City apart but Watford away on a cold December afternoon, on a smaller pitch against a team who are in your faces was a different challenge.
“The frustration is we have to work so hard for our goals, but we concede them at the other end so cheaply. The errors are so basic – from the keeper to the players in front of him – and teams keep capitalising on that.
“We don’t defend corners well enough and we don’t take corners well enough. Set-pieces account for around a third of goals in the Premier League. It’s a big part of the game and we have to improve drastically at both ends.”