Liverpool can’t spend £50m to address centre-back shortage in difficult January window, says Barnes

Klopp Liverpool 2021 Burnley

Liverpool are in no position to “spend £50 million ($69m) on a player to address positional shortages”, says John Barnes, with the Reds not expected to find “the best set of centre-backs” in a difficult January market.

The clock is ticking on any efforts from the Reds to get fresh faces on board, but the focus at Anfield has been narrowed by another untimely injury for Joel Matip.

Reinforcements were considered to be required before Liverpool suffered another fitness blow in their 3-1 victory over Tottenham.

Barnes has always been of the opinion that the Reds should avoid rushing into any deals and doubts big money will be invested before the next deadline passes.

He has told BonusCodeBets: “It’d be nice if Liverpool could addressthe centre-backissue,but these arenotusualtimes when youcanjust go out and spend£50millionon a playerto addresspositional shortages.

“You don’t know what’s going to happenwith Covid-19andfrom a financial point of view you don’t know whatthe future holds either.

“MaybeLiverpoolwouldfeel it irresponsible tospend a lot of money now, andI don’t see any club spendinga lot of money.

“I don’t thinkthey’d getthebestset ofcentre backs tochange the waytheyplayin the January window anyway, but if they felt that they could do that I’m sure they will.”

For now, Klopp is having to get creative with his team selections, with Jordan Henderson moved back into a defensive berth against Spurs after seeing Fabinho pick up a knock.

Nat Phillips was introduced at half-time to replace Matip, while Rhys Williams has also figured over recent weeks in what remains a steep learning curve for the 19-year-old academy graduate.

Barnes would have preferred to see a teenage talent kept out of the deep end, with the absence of talismanic figures such as Virgil van Dijk making it difficult to blood inexperienced youngsters.

The Reds legend added: “WhenVirgil van Dijk cameand played alongsidecentre-backs likeJoe Gomez orDejan Lovren,he calmedthem down.

“No matter how they performedwithout him, withVanDijkthey showed their truevalue.It’s the samewithRhys Williams- I’m sureif VanDijkwasplaying alongside him,he would have been much calmeragainst Manchester United in a 3-2 FA Cup defeat, which would have helped the situation.

“However, forRhys Williamsto playalongside a midfield playerwho’snot a centre-backputs him under pressure. Youngplayers coming into the team shouldn’tbe underthat sort ofpressure, but they are,because of the wholecurrent circumstances.

“If you look at Trent Alexander-Arnoldwhen he first cameto Liverpool,toa good side,heplayed hisrole with confidence. He was notunderpressure andhe showedhisworth.

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