Paul Merson feels the careers of Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara are “at the fag end” and while Alexis Mac Allister is “effective”, Liverpool need “a lot more” than just him.
The Reds’ midfield held them back last season. While no area of the side absolutely covered itself in glory, it was the midfield that limited Liverpool the most.
Henderson and Thiago are both north of 30, as is James Milner – who has now departed along with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita – and Fabinho is soon to reach that age.
That doesn’t bode well for a side that wants to be challenging for titles. As such, change is needed, and the Reds have started with the snare of Mac Allister, for £35million.
Merson feels it’s a good start, as the former Brighton star will add certain elements to Liverpool’s midfield.
“I’m a big fan of Alexis Mac Allister, he’s very simple and effective. He’s not got major legs and isn’t the strongest midfielder you’ll see, but he’ll keep things ticking for Liverpool in the centre of the park and play a big role in their build-up play,” he told Sportskeeda.
However, Merson detailed how the limitations of the midfield will not be solved by this one signing.
“Liverpool are crying out for legs in midfield – we saw what happened to them last season,” Merson added
“The likes of Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara are at the fag end of their careers, so they need a lot more than just Mac Allister to become a force to be reckoned with once again.”
The Reds have also brought in Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig, and while Merson is not yet sure how much of an impact he’ll have, Liverpool have clearly bought him for a reason.
“I haven’t seen enough of Dominik Szoboszlai to pass a judgment, but if you’re a Liverpool fan, you’d be hoping he has the legs and the engine to give them what they missed dearly last season,” Merson said.
The signings of both should elevate Liverpool beyond where they were last season, which will be a plus, but Merson still feels they need more, despite some savvy business so far.
“Additionally, Mac Allister flourished at Brighton with someone like Moises Caicedo next to him, with the Ecuador international’s engine and defensive acumen acting as the perfect foil to his skillset,” Merson added.
“He’s an absolute bargain for £35 million, but I still think Liverpool need more midfield reinforcements.”