Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is understood to be on the hunt for a new central midfielder following injuries to Thiago, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita
Jurgen Klopp has admitted the Reds need to sign a new central midfielder but will only strike in the market if the right player becomes available. Hamann, who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, believes Joelinton is the man for the job.
The uncapped Brazilian has prospered at St James’ Park after since becoming a box-to-box midfielder under Eddie Howe. He was deployed as a forward under previous manager Steve Bruce, scoring just two goals in his first 38 Premier League games for Newcastle.
“Regardless of the injuries, I think if you look at Liverpool they have a fantastic goalkeeper, defence and up top they’re great as well,” Hamann told GGrecon. “I think they need someone in midfield because they don’t get any goals from midfield.
“Last year I think they got 12 or 13 goals from midfield and I think Fabinho got about seven of them. That means the rest of the midfield scored about five goals between them. They haven’t got goals from midfield and I think that’s their Achilles heel.
“I watched Newcastle versus Manchester City last week and looking at that I think they need a midfielder with presence. You look at Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Thiago, they’re all similar, tidy players, I think they could do with someone like Joelinton from Newcastle.
“I think he’s someone who’s technically gifted, who’s a big lad and has a great strike on him. I think that’s the type of player they miss. Whether you can get him now with a few days of the transfer window left to go, I’m not too sure. If there’s one area where they could do with a player, it’s in midfield.”
Liverpool may have to shell out a fortune if they listen to Hamann’s advice. Joelinton still has three years left on his contract and Newcastle would want to at least recuperate the £40million they paid Hoffenheim for the Brazilian three years ago.
The Magpies aren’t in need of money, either. A Saudi-backed consortium completed a takeover of Newcastle last October, making them the wealthiest club on the planet. Joelinton is going nowhere if Howe decides he’s not for sale.
Hamann’s comments come after Klopp admitted Liverpool are short in central midfield. The Reds have lost Thiago, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to injury, while Curtis Jones has recently returned to training following a calf problem.
“I know we have had this discussion since it all started and I am the one who said we don’t need a midfielder and you were all right and I was wrong,” Klopp told reporters on Friday. “That’s the situation.
There is really nothing more to say about it. We are looking for it, and if it is the right player we need him and if it is not the right player we don’t need him.”
Klopp added on Tuesday: “Signing players never makes sense if they are not the right ones, why would you do that?”