Jamie Carragher has given his verdict on Liverpool’s transfer business in January when signed Virgil van Dijk but lost ‘their best player’.
Philippe Coutinho joined Barcelona for £142million after being denied his dream move last summer, while Van Dijk arrived from Southampton for £75million.
Liverpool also allowed Daniel Sturridge to leave the club on loan but Jurgen Klopp failed to bolster his squad with any other signings.
Carragher believes his former club could have handled things differently.
“I think if you lose your best player there’s no way you can dress it up as a positive window, certainly in January as well,” he said on The Debate on Sky Sports. “I think every Liverpool fan, myself included, when Philippe Coutinho stayed in the summer, felt okay.
“We know he’s going next season, let’s enjoy these 12 months, probably similar to Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, you always felt that was going to happen.
“To lose him mid-season, you know I don’t agree. Philippe Coutinho is not worth that [£142m], he’s not that good. I would have taken £20m, £30m less in the summer to know that Liverpool would have had him in the second half of the season, because at that time we’re still in the FA Cup, we’re still in the Champions League.”
Van Dijk was recruited to solidify a defence that has too often let Klopp down, but after scoring the winner on his debut in the FA Cup derby, Van Dijk has started two matches that both ended in defeat.
“I think it will prove to be a great signing, but he hasn’t hit the ground running,” Carragher said.
“I think he needs to get fit and lose a bit of weight. He actually looks too big. Maybe that’s to do with not having a pre-season.”