Gabriel Agbonlahor has tipped Liverpool to buy an experienced central defender in the January transfer window.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the former England striker suggested Jurgen Klopp’s decision to play two centre-midfielders in defence against Southampton is a clue he does not trust his younger defenders against pacy forwards.
Club captain Jordan Henderson and Fabinho lined up at the heart of Liverpool’s defence at St. Mary’s as they fell to a 1-0 defeat – just their second Premier League loss of the season.
Rhys Williams, 19, and Nathaniel Phillips were left on the bench for the whole game on the south coast.
Phillips, 23, started Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle United last week but was dropped against Southampton in favour of Henderson.
Williams played half-an-hour against West Brom the week before the visit to St. James’ Park but has not featured since.
Klopp revealed after the defeat to Southampton that he was not sure the club would enter the January transfer market to sign a new defender.
Asked by Football Insider whether Williams’ and Phillips’ absence against Southampton was a clue they could be replaced, Agbonlahor said: “They’ve done well, haven’t they?
“Williams has done well but I watched the game against West Brom and he got outpaced by Karlam Grant and he didn’t look as mobile as I thought I was.
“Maybe Klopp was thinking Danny Ings, Che Adams these fast players, maybe it was a game where he wanted to play more experienced players who wouldn’t get outpaced as much because they know more about the game and their positioning may be better.
“I think they’ve still got a future but it’s hard in the Premier League and sometimes you need experience in there and maybe that’s what Klopp will do, bring in a defender with more experience.”