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7 Dec 2016

Redknapp insists: It's time for Klopp to dump 'adequate' €17m Liverpool star and sign a replacement 'in January'

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Ex-Red Jamie Redknapp has urged Jurgen Klopp to make a big change to the team during the January transfer window.

In his column this week for the Daily Mail, Redknapp insisted that Liverpool need to 'sort out the defence' and identified James Milner as the weakest link:

"James Milner has done well this season but if Liverpool are to sustain a challenge, they need another left back in January".

Redknapp isn't the only ex-player who feels this way:

* Steve Nicol [Oct 2016]: “Milner has been adequate, but eventually, he’s going to get found out”.

* John Barnes [Nov 2016]: "Liverpool need to go and get a left-back. James Milner has done well, but to win [the Prem], we need to get a left-back."

* Paul Parker [Nov 2016]: "Liverpool's downfall is in defence, with left-back the main problem".

For the most part, Milner has done a stellar job on the left, but his frequently poor positioning is a major problem, and regularly causes problems. Bournemouth, for example:

* Goal 1: Caught out of position, forcing Lovren to cover. The Croatian made a mess of the clearance, and Milner rushed into the box and gave away a penalty.

* Goal 2: Out of position again, and slow to get back as Bournemouth counter-attacked. Cross came in from the left, and the Cherries scored again.

* Goal 3: Left Fraser in acres of space on the right, Cross comes in, and it's 3-3.

There have been several other goals this season conceded in similar circumstances, but it's only to be expected because - quelle surprise - Milner is not a left-back (!)

A manager can get away with square pegs in round holes for a while, but as Steve Nicol notes, eventually, that policy will be 'found out', and that's what's happening with Milner.

Is a new left-back a priority, or should Klopp persist with Milner?

* Milner: €17m-rated (CIES Football Observatory)


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