Michael Owen has sympathised with misfiring Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo and believes Lionel Messi would struggle to perform for the Reds at the moment.
Gakpo has failed to score in all four of his Liverpool appearances after joining from PSV Eindhoven for around £40million.
Despite a slow start on Merseyside, Owen believes the Netherlands has what it takes to be a long-term success.
“I feel sorry for him actually because he’s coming into a team that are really inconsistent and drained of all confidence that we’ve seen in the past,” Owen told Premier League Productions.
“He had a couple of half-chances today [against Chelsea] and it’s clear he’s trying. I’m sure he’s going to be a good signing for the future but at the moment, I would defy even Lionel Messi to come in and look good in this team because it’s really struggling.”
Gakpo joined Liverpool full of confidence having netted nine and assisted a further 12 in 14 Eredivisie appearances this season.
The 23-year-old was strongly linked with a move to Man Utd before Jurgen Klopp’s side swooped in to bring him to Anfield.
Liverpool are in dire need of a new midfielder, or two, and reportedly have Jude Bellingham at the top of their wishlist.
A summer move is a lot more likely than a transfer this month and should he move to Anfield, the teenager will probably cost around £150million.
Another player Liverpool have been linked with is Chelsea midfielder and Bellingham’s England teammate Mason Mount.
Due to his brilliant work rate and versatility, you get the feeling that Klopp would be all over the signing of Mount, if Chelsea are willing to sell.
The 24-year-old is under contract at Stamford Bridge until 2024 with talks well underway.
However, should the two parties fail to strike an agreement, Liverpool could make a move.
According to Fabrizio Romano, the Reds’ top midfield targets remain Wolves’ Matheus Nunes and Borussia Dortmund’s Bellingham.
Romano wrote for CaughtOffside: “On Mason Mount rumours – at the moment, I’m told that Liverpool’s top priority remains Jude Bellingham and they also follow Matheus Nunes.
“Let’s see what’s going to happen with Mount, at the moment his new contract situation has to be clarified as talks with Chelsea have been ongoing for months.”
READ MORE: Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea: 16 Conclusions on a game that showed why ninth v tenth doesn’t usually get 16 Conclusions