Phil Thompson believes Liverpool should make the signing of Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross a priority this summer.
Thompson believes the 28-year-old would be a perfect solution to his former side’s defensive vulnerability, having seen them concede more goals than any other side in the top half of the Premier League this season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have also conceded a league-high eight goals from corners and Thompson believes Shawcross would be the perfect solution to Liverpool’s defence.
Shawcross will sit out Tuesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg after suffering a back injury during Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Leicester.
The centre-back had led his side to seven clean sheets in their last 13 Premier League games since returning from a previous injury problem, with the Potters having only managed two wins in 10 games in his absence.
Thompson told Sky Sports: “When Liverpool evaluate at the end of the season and look at the sort of goals they conceded, I wouldn’t be averse to see them looking towards Shawcross as a solution.
“In fact I think he would be absolutely ideal and he’s been one of the most underrated centre-backs over the last five seasons. You just have to look at Stoke’s stats with and without him.”
Liverpool take a 1-0 lead back to Anfield thanks to Jordon Ibe’s strike at the Britannia two weeks ago, but Thompson is wary that Klopp’s side have struggled with the favourites tag this season.
He added: “I would think it’s still going to be difficult. It’s like that with Liverpool at the moment. Stoke were perhaps a bit complacent in the first game and didn’t expect Liverpool to be as dominant as they were.
“Being 1-0 up, you’d usually be thinking Wembley is close, but with this side it seems to be the bigger the challenge the better you going to get from them.
“The boot might be on the other foot this time, and while Liverpool won and Stoke lost badly at the weekend, it’s certainly not over and I’m expecting an extremely tight tie.”