no deal | 

Why I don’t think Liverpool need to sign a midfielder in this transfer window

James steers Pool in the right direction

Milner made big difference against Fulham© AFP via Getty Images

Darwin Nunez has impressed on coming on and has earned right to start© Getty Images

Plenty of goals to come from Salah and Diaz© Getty Images

Frank Lampard not the man to bring Everton on© Getty Images

John AldridgeSunday World

COUNT me out of all this talk that Liverpool have to buy a midfielder before the end of August.

Yes, they have injuries in that department right now. But things will turn around and the Reds will be fine in that area in the long run.

All this ‘buy, buy, buy’ stuff is an over-reaction to last weekend’s draw with Fulham.

I’ll repeat again what I wrote about that match immediately after it here.

The match was Fulham’s Cup Final for the season.

They were back in the Premier League, at home to Liverpool on the first day, they have a new Main Stand almost built at the ground – towering over the rest of Craven Cottage.

Fulham got their tactics right and found in Liverpool an obligingly passive opponent, at least for the first half.

It was a perfect storm that won’t occur again.

Look at Jurgen Klopp’s midfield resources.

He has three excellent young players in Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Fabio Cavalho, the latter just bought from Fulham in the summer.

I expect the trio to really develop and be big players for Liverpool soon.

You cannot expect to much too soon of them, but I’ll be astonished if at least two of them don’t have top-notch careers with the club.

And maybe on of them can be that long missed Ronnie Whelan-figure - the midfielder who chips in with 12 goals a season.

That is the one component missing from Liverpool’s team, but that player has always been missing under Klopp.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp watches on from the touchline during the Premier League match at Craven Cottage, London. Picture date: Saturday August 6, 2022.© PA

And Liverpool have won enough trophies without that player.

Would that player have been worth the missing point or two to win a Premier League over the last few seasons?

Yes, perhaps, but it is not the way Klopp wants to structure the team by buying one – he seems happy to let these three youngsters develop and we’ll take it from there.

Naby Keita was the one senior player now at the club that I thought might fulfil the scoring role, but he’s been injured too often, and just hasn’t made the impact I expected of him.

Thiago Alcantara is also injured regularly, as is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and that is a disappointment.

And that leaves a heavy burden on Jordan Henderson and James Milner just now.

But the captain and the veteran are, typically, rising to the challenge.

Eyebrows were raised when Liverpool gave a one-year contract to 37-year-old Milner during the summer.

He paid for that contract against Fulham alone, for it was only when Milner came on in the second half that Liverpool really fired into the match.

Anyway, back to Palace first, who will be a little chastened after losing the very first game of the new season, at home to Arsenal.

Patrick Vieira has built a decent side for Palace, they wil be a comfotable mid-table team this season, but Liverpool ought to be way too strong for them.

I suspect the eight days between the Fulham outing and this game were spent by Klopp and his coaching staff instilling into the team that a lacklustre 45 minutes, such as the first half against Fulham, simplay cannot happen again.

They were also surely spent getting new striking sensasion Darwin Nunez up to speed on Liverpool’s game plan and patterns.

Nunez has been outstanding in his cameo roles against Manchester City and Fulham since he arrived at the club.

Now it is surely time for Klopp to unleash the Uruguayan on a team from the off.

I believe that the more Nunez plays, the better he will get.

Liverpool's Luis Diaz (left) attempts a shot on goal during the FA Community Shield match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. Picture date: Saturday July 30, 2022.© PA

And the more he’ll learn about playing with Mo Salah and Luis Diaz, in what is surely now Liverpool’s first choice attack for the long term.

It takes a while for three men to really come together and really click.

But with the eight days of full training before this match, and a complete week to work on things before Liverpool play United, I can see Nunez being really ready to rumble in opposition penalty areas.

It’ll be special at Anfield tomorrow night, the first competitive home game of the season is always one filled with expectations and hopes.

A packed Kop and the other three sides of the ground will be seeing this match as the first home step on the way to a Premier League title charge – or yet another famous night out in Istanbul, the venue for next season’s Champions League decider.

Such is the quality of team management and playing staff on the books at Liverpool right now, the fans are right to expect silverware at the end of every campaign.

The whole package is good enough to deliver those trophies.

But the quality of teams around England and Europe right now means that winning trophies is easier said that done.

Liverpool’s can’t afford many more 2-2s against the Fulham’s of this world.

You’d back Frank for the sack

Lamps© PA

THE bookies rarely get things badly wrong and so all Everton fans had to be worried when they all made Frank Lampard the pre-season favourite in the Premier League sack race.

After two defeats, his odds have surely tightened now.

I’ve never been convinced that Frank had a managerial CV to justify being placed in change of a big club like Everton.

He did the quick, fire-fighting, job for them last season, keeping the Blues up, but has Frank the ability to take them on a notch or two? I’m not so sure about that.

The 1-0 home loss to Chelsea and the 2-1 away defeat by Aston Villa typify the way the team will be this season.

Everton will be strong at the back, where centre-half Conor Coady has been a good signing for them from Wolves, but who is going to score goals for Everton this season?

They’ve cashed in on Richarlison for £60million to Spurs and so their main hope of goals in Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

However, he is very injury-prone, he’s missed more matches than he has played in over the last year and a half, and now he’s out again, for at least the first six weeks of this season.


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