Virgil van Dijk may have struggled for Liverpool this season but Jamie Carragher says no centre-back in the Premier League has ever had a greater impact on their team.

Carragher jumped to the defence of the Reds centre-back on Twitter, suggesting Van Dijk was far better than former Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic and had performed on the same level as Kevin De Bruyne in recent years.

That came after Liverpool's entertaining 2-2 draw with Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday, when Jurgen Klopp's defence left much to be desired as Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus fired in the first half.

Van Dijk's performances have repeatedly been questioned this season, with Carragher delivering a scathing assessment of the defender after Liverpool's 5-2 Champions League home thrashing by Real Madrid in February.

While former Reds captain Carragher acknowledged the disappointing nature of the Netherlands international's season, he believes no centre-back comes close to Van Dijk in the Premier League era.

Responding to another tweet criticising Van Dijk's form, Carragher wrote: "VVD [Van Dijk] is far better than Vidic, who was a top CB [centre-back], but have you forgot [Vidic's] performances against [Liverpool's Fernando] Torres?

"Rio [Ferdinand] and JT [John Terry] had poor seasons in their career like all players, VVD is having one now. No CB in the PL era has ever had VVD's impact on a team."

Seemingly irked by football followers questioning Van Dijk, Carragher doubled down on his defence of the 31-year-old, likening his impact on the Premier League to City's De Bruyne.

"Never mind the best CB in the league, he's been the best player in the league along with KDB [De Bruyne] for four years before this one," Carragher added.

"We have never spoken about other CBs being the best player before, that shows the level he was at."

When questioned on the topic of impact, with Vidic's five Premier League titles, one Champions League and three EFL Cups at Manchester United put to him, Carragher insisted Van Dijk still reigns supreme.

"If you or anyone thinks Vidic is better than VVD you're not watching the same game! He's miles better!!"

Trent Alexander-Arnold's poor form "can't continue" for Liverpool as Jamie Carragher called on his former club to sign another right-back.

Alexander-Arnold endured another difficult night up against Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Junior as Liverpool bowed out of the Champions League with a 1-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Such performances have been the norm for Alexander-Arnold this season, though – often against opponents of far more modest talent.

Having established himself as one of the best full-backs in world football in previous campaigns, there is concern now around Alexander-Arnold's form.

Anfield great Carragher, in his role as a CBS Sports pundit, said: "It's very, very worrying – not just for Liverpool as a team; for him. That can't continue, what's happened this season with him and the amount of times he's been lacking defensively."

Signing another right-back to compete with or replace Alexander-Arnold would be a solution, Carragher continued.

"The problem they've got in that position is they've never had real competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold," he said.

"One of the reasons why is because he's been so good. You think: who do you buy? How much do you spend for someone who's not really going to play every week?

"But I think Liverpool are at the point now where they've got to go and buy a right-back. That's Jurgen Klopp's decision in terms of how good that right-back is, how much he costs, but that lad needs serious competition.

"He's been playing now for five years at the top level, week in, week out, with no rest."

Alexander-Arnold "needs help", according to Carragher, although he suggests the defender's flaws would not be as obvious if the rest of the Liverpool team were performing as they have previously.

"I've always defended him in that he's played for one of the best teams in the world, and when you play for one of the best teams in the world, as Liverpool are, you do a lot more attacking than you do defending," Carragher said.

"We all know his defending is not good enough, and I don't think it will ever be good enough. We're talking about a player who's played 260 games; it's not going to massively improve now.

"So, when Liverpool drop off and aren't one of the best teams in Europe, like they have been for the last four years, now they're one of the pack going for the Champions League, then you're doing more defending, less attacking.

"You're seeing the worst traits of Trent and now his strengths going forward. That is a massive problem.

"I thought this problem would rear its head when Klopp left and Liverpool dropped back to where they were when I was a player, most seasons trying to qualify for top four.

"If Liverpool are trying to qualify for the Champions League on a yearly basis, I'm not sure Trent's your man at right-back.

"If Liverpool get back to being one of the best teams in Europe, which is what they'll try to do next season, he is your man."

Mauricio Pochettino would be making a mistake by going back to Tottenham as Jamie Carragher believes a second Spurs stint would be akin to Kevin Keegan's Newcastle United return.

Pressure is building on Tottenham coach Antonio Conte after a desperate run that has ended their hopes of winning silverware this season.

After back-to-back Premier League victories lifted Spurs into the top four, they crashed out of the FA Cup at Sheffield United, lost at Wolves in the league and then exited the Champions League following a dismal goalless draw against Milan.

With Conte's contract up at the end of the season, it appears likely the former Juventus, Chelsea and Inter boss will soon be departing Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Pochettino, who spent five years at the club, would be a popular appointment for many fans, and he remains out of work after leaving Paris Saint-Germain.

But Liverpool legend Carragher sees concerning parallels with Keegan's 2008 homecoming at Newcastle, where he soon left following a dispute with owner Mike Ashley.

"Never go back. That is what they say in football," Carragher wrote in The Telegraph.

"Mauricio Pochettino would be wise to remember that if he is tempted to return to Tottenham Hotspur.

"Don't do it, Poch. All parties need to move on. Comebacks are usually more romantic than logical.

"Pochettino may see Spurs as the best chance to return to the Premier League. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy could curry favour with the supporters by re-appointing a popular ex-manager.

"They must know how rarely old magic is recreated in football."

While noting Carlo Ancelotti has enjoyed a successful second spell at Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho won the title after rejoining Chelsea, Carragher added: "Pochettino returning to Spurs would be like Kevin Keegan going back to Newcastle United.

"Like Keegan's Newcastle in the mid-90s, Pochettino's Tottenham charmed neutrals without winning trophies.

"Keegan's re-appointment in 2008 was greeted like the second coming, but he walked into different conditions and was gone eight months later."

Tottenham finished second under Pochettino in 2016-17, their best performance since the 1960s, and also came third twice.

He was unable to end their wait for silverware, however, losing in the Champions League final in 2019 and EFL Cup final in 2015.

Jamie Carragher believes it will be "best for all parties" for Roberto Firmino to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

Sky Germany on Friday reported that long-serving Brazil striker Firmino has decided to depart when his contract expires on June 30.

The 31-year-old is a hugely popular figure at Anfield, having scored 107 goals and provided 70 assists in 353 appearances for the Reds following his move from Hoffenheim in 2015.

Firmino has helped Liverpool make significant additions to their trophy cabinet during his time on Merseyside, lifting the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup, Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup.

Combining with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in such a formidable attacking trio, Firmino's ability to create and score goals enabled Jurgen Klopp's side to become a huge force.

He has endured struggles with injuries last season and in the current campaign, though, and former Liverpool defender Carragher thinks the time has come for the next chapter of his career.

"If the reports about Firmino leaving at the end of the season are true, I do think it's best for all parties," Carragher tweeted.

"He's a Liverpool great and will be remembered for being part of one of the best front three’s we've seen."

Jamie Carragher hit out at former side Liverpool after a "shambolic" Champions League showing as a rampant Real Madrid fought back to "destroy" the Reds.

Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah, the latter capitalising on an inexplicable Thibaut Courtois error, fired Jurgen Klopp's side into a 2-0 lead inside 15 minutes at Anfield in the first leg of their last-16 clash.

But Carlo Ancelotti's defending European champions responded in ruthless fashion, with a Vinicius Junior first-half double restoring parity before Eder Militao nodded Madrid in front in the second period.

A Karim Benzema brace secured a 5-2 lead to defend at Santiago Bernabeu on March 15, with Liverpool the first team in Champions League history to take a 2-0 lead and lose by a three-goal margin.

It marked the first time in Europe that Liverpool have conceded five goals at home as well and Carragher was left in disbelief as he launched a scathing assessment.

The former Liverpool captain said on CBS Sports: "First of all what a performance by Real Madrid to come to Anfield and do that.

"I've never seen a team come to Anfield, on a European night that I can remember, and perform and destroy Liverpool like that.

"That was shambolic from Liverpool, embarrassing, we've made excuses for them all season. 

"We've said reasons why they're not doing as well as they have done in previous seasons, but that was a disgrace in that second half."

Klopp's charges, on the back of two straight wins, had the chance to salvage the tie with the game finely poised at 2-2 at half-time.

But Liverpool, who sit eighth in the Premier League after an otherwise poor start to 2023, crumbled under the pressure – much to the disgust of Carragher.

He added: "To not even have a chance, to show any real fight after the goals go in and to lose that second half 3-0, when you're attacking The Kop and it's 2-2 in the tie, absolutely shambolic from Liverpool.

"What I'm talking about in terms of shambolic, is defensively shambolic all season. 

"It was nonsense that Liverpool were back after the last two games, they played against an Everton team who produced one of the worst performances in a derby, they did nothing.

"At Newcastle, Newcastle had 10 men and created chances, if they had 11 they would have got back in the game I'm convinced.

"That is because Liverpool right now, all season in fact, have been an absolute shambles defensively. This team had a great defensive record last season.

"The midfield doesn't have the energy any more, the attacking players don't press or have the cohesion they had before.

"This Liverpool defence, who we've been told for years have the best players in the world, can't cope. For years, they've had a front six in front of them who worked harder and smarter than any other team in football, but now they're gone they've absolutely fallen apart."

Carragher was unable to mount any kind of defence for Liverpool or Klopp, with the Reds' performance against Madrid embodying a season of underperformance and failure.

He continued: "I keep making excuses, because as Liverpool fans we adore this manager and the team as they've done so much in the last few years, but they are eighth in the Premier League and just been battered 5-2, I know by Real Madrid.

"But these two teams were in the final last year, it's not acceptable to watch this season, we keep giving reasons and excuses, but it's nowhere near good enough.

"What makes me laugh is Virgil van Dijk said I wouldn't get in their back four a few months ago – I think I'd take his place at the moment."

Erling Haaland may have picked the wrong club by choosing to join Manchester City, claims Jamie Carragher.

The Norway international leads the Premier League's scoring charts this season with 25 goals in 20 games, though City have often been a shadow of their former selves.

In Sunday's 1-0 defeat against Tottenham, Haaland did not have a single touch in the opposition box – the first time in his debut season in England when that has occurred.

City's defeat saw Pep Guardiola's side miss the opportunity to cut Arsenal's lead at the top of the table to just two points, and they sit only three points ahead of neighbours Manchester United.

It has been suggested City are a weaker team with Haaland in the side, but Carragher went further by claiming the former Borussia Dortmund player may have joined the wrong side for his needs.

"I think we've only seen 60 per cent of Erling Haaland. You think of the goal he got versus West Ham when there was space in behind and he gets in behind," Carragher told Sky Sports.

"I know that's not there every time due to the way City play. He's come from a counter-attacking league [the Bundesliga] where it's end to end.

"You saw his blistering pace there – we don't see it here. He might have picked the wrong club to actually get the best out of him.

"We're not seeing everything of Haaland. City have scored the exact number of goals as last season. He's got 25 of them, but City overall have scored the same number overall.

"However, they've conceded more and are easier to counter-attack against now. They are a different – and lesser team – with Haaland in the team. That's not his fault.

"City won't play end-to-end football. That's not Pep Guardiola's way. His players don't have the energy or power to play that way – they build up slowly and push the opposition back to their box and play from there.

"When they lose it, they win it back quickly and keep the team pinned back. Haaland has scored 25 league goals and lots of them are ones that come into the box, and he puts them in.

"But we're not seeing the full package of what the player can do because of the team he's joined."

Jamie Carragher would rather see Liverpool change everyone else at the club than part ways with manager Jurgen Klopp, though he accepts the Reds are a "million miles" away from their previous levels.

Klopp has come under fire amid a dreadful season for Liverpool, who sit 10th in the Premier League after almost delivering an unprecedented quadruple last campaign.

Saturday's 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Wolves made it three successive away league defeats for the Reds, who are yet to win a Premier League game since the turn of the year.

Klopp reiterated his desire to oversee a rebuild of Liverpool's squad after their latest humiliation, and Carragher believes there is nobody better for the job.

"I would change everybody else at that football club before I changed Jurgen Klopp," he told Sky Sports on Sunday.

"When he came in, Liverpool were sixth or seventh in the league and he's taken them to where they've been in the last few years, he's proven he can do that. I'd like to see him do that again. I'm sure he will.

"If people are talking about a change of manager… any manager coming into Liverpool would need to rebuild.

"I don't think it's a case of just buying one player – people keep saying, 'bring Jude Bellingham in'. I think with each week, it feels like it's bigger than one or two [new] players, it might have to be four or five.

"Any manager at Liverpool at the start of next season would have to do that, Jurgen Klopp has produced miracles at times.

"You can question Jurgen in terms of how it's got to this, he's part of that. But for the recruitment team, how did Liverpool go from almost winning four trophies last season to being 10th in the league now?

"For the start of next season, I don't think there's anyone any Liverpool fan would rather have in the dugout than Jurgen Klopp."

Liverpool are as close to the Premier League's relegation zone as they are to fourth-placed Newcastle United (both 11-point gaps), and Carragher says they need to get through this season before addressing their failings.

"They look a million miles off where they've been for the last few years," he said. "You're trying to work out why, and we've all been doing that all season, but it doesn't feel like it's getting better.

"Klopp's tried everything in terms of playing more experienced players, playing younger players, changing formation. Nothing's working.

"It almost feels as if they've got to crawl and hang on, get to the summer and sort it out in the transfer market."

Everton are "the worst run club" in England and "demonised" their supporters after alleging safety concerns for board members at Goodison Park, according to Jamie Carragher.

The Toffees' board of directors did not attend the January 14 home loss to Southampton upon the advice of security professionals, citing a "real and credible threat to their safety and security".

Everton released a statement before kick-off to explain the situation was caused by "malicious and unacceptable threatening correspondence received by the club".

The Toffees' struggles culminated in Monday's sacking of manager Frank Lampard, but Carragher – an Everton fan growing up – focused his ire on the club's handling of the supporters' discontent.

"There was a protest that everyone knew about, it wasn't going to be during the game it was going to be at the end of the game," former Liverpool captain Carragher told Sky Sports. 

"Everton's board put out a statement saying there had been threats, and I'm not denying that – and if it is true then that's bang out of order.

"But I think someone should have been at the game, the statement they put out as a football club was bang out of order. To me, they demonised the whole fanbase, and I'm not saying they are telling lies in terms of threats, but that is the name of the game."

When concerns over physical threats and violence were put to him, Carragher responded: "There may have been but there was nothing reported to the police, you need to say that too.

"They threw the whole fanbase under the bus, you don't do that, especially in the city we are from. In Liverpool, you back your own whether it's your family or your football club. That's what you do.

"[The supporters] were there to criticise them and get them out of the club, but those supporters kept them up last year, don't forget that.

"Supporters are protesting that they want them out of the club, [the board] felt they couldn't go to that game. On the back of putting that statement out, how do they go back to the game or to Goodison. Lampard is gone but their banners aren't going anywhere until those people have left the club. 

"Until there is serious change there, they're not going to get the fans back on side and it was them who kept them up."

Everton sit 19th in the Premier League on 15 points following a 2-0 defeat to fellow strugglers West Ham on Saturday, their eighth loss in their last nine matches in all competitions.

The Toffees' next manager will be their seventh permanent appointment since Farhad Moshiri – who was in attendance at London Stadium – invested in the club in 2016.

Carragher believes dismissing Lampard was the right decision, though his concerns remain over Moshiri's relationship with board members Bill Kenwright and Denise Barrett-Baxendale.

"It was right to change the manager, but no one knows a football club better than their own supporters," he added. "Their own supporters haven't got banners for Lampard, they've got banners for Moshiri and the board.

"I said this about six months ago, Everton are the worst run club in the country. I'm not saying that as an ex-Liverpool player, I'm saying that as an ex-Everton fan.

"When I made that comment, Everton actually got in touch with me and I thought fair enough, you're saying things in the media and sometimes things come back to you. But I didn't think I was wrong when I said it then and I don't think I'm wrong now.

"Moshiri doesn't know what he's doing but he's got a lot of money – and he's put a lot of money in. Why does every Everton manager fail? You've got to look at the top, and that's Moshiri. It's a mess.

"There's a massive divide between Moshiri, Kenwright and Denise Baxendale – what is the role of Kenwright? It's not financial and the owner is not listening to him. If they are there for expertise, they're not listening to them, why have them there?"

Liverpool are "not a Jurgen Klopp team" at the moment, according to Jamie Carragher, who was scathing of the Reds' lacklustre performance in Monday's defeat at Brentford.

A deserved 3-1 victory for Thomas Frank's Bees further compounded the woes of the Merseyside outfit, who have struggled to recapture the highs of last season this term.

Since restarting their campaign after the World Cup concluded last month, Liverpool have been knocked out of the EFL Cup and staggered to muted Premier League wins against Aston Villa and Leicester City.

Defeat to an energetic Brentford side leaves them four points adrift of the Premier League's top four, and Carragher feels they no longer possess the characteristics associated with their decorated manager.

"That has been a theme of Liverpool all season," the former Reds defender told Sky Sports. "As soon as the intensity of a game rises, they cannot cope.

"They need to play a slower type of game because as soon as it goes fast, they are not at the races, they cannot keep up with it.

"When I watch Liverpool now, and certainly in midfield, it feels like Jurgen Klopp's team is morphing into something else.

"For me, from minute one of Klopp's era, teams were sprinting all over the pitch. When I don't see Liverpool sprinting and closing down now, it is not a Jurgen Klopp team and I want to know why."

Liverpool have already sought to bolster their ranks with the signing of Cody Gakpo, but Carragher claims offensive power is not their foremost issue, calling for the arrival of a midfielder.

"I don't know what has happened to Liverpool in terms of midfield," he added. "[They] have bought one midfield player in four-and-a-half years in Thiago [Alcantara]. It is coming back to haunt them now.

"They have signed Cody Gakpo [but] if Liverpool think they can make the top four without signing a midfield player in this window, they have got no chance."

Jurgen Klopp is adamant he can offer no insight into how much money Liverpool need to spend following claims the Reds boss will have told the club £250million of investment is required.

Former Liverpool defender Carragher made those comments while working as part of Sky Sports' punditry team for their EFL Cup last-16 defeat to Manchester City.

His words came after Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) put the club up for sale last month, with FSG saying it is also open to bringing in a strategic partner.

Liverpool resume the Premier League season against Aston Villa on December 26 following the World Cup break sitting 15 points behind leaders Arsenal and seven behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

The Gunners' renaissance and Newcastle United's emergence as Champions League contenders have complicated Liverpool's pursuit of a place in the top four and leave the Reds likely facing more competition for those positions in the coming years.

"I think there's no doubt that Jurgen Klopp has said to Liverpool's owners, 'I need £250m to spend in the summer'," Carragher said, "and that sounds like an outrageous figure, but that's what Man United and Chelsea spent last summer. 

"These are the figures that the teams Liverpool are competing with are spending, and I think only once in Jurgen Klopp's tenure Liverpool have really gone for it in the transfer market, just after the Champions League final [in 2018]. They bought a lot of players, and I think it needs that now. 

"You're talking about that kind of investment, and I don't think FSG have those funds right now, that's why they're looking for investment to come in and help them."

Liverpool have been linked with Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham and Benfica's Enzo Fernandez, both of whom impressed at the World Cup for England and Argentina respectively.

"Ooooh, it's Christmas time, huh?" Klopp replied when asked about Carragher's remarks.

"I don't know about what amount of money you need exactly, but I am not against investment, to be honest. 

"We will see what the future brings. Nobody knows in the moment, but I'm convinced it will be good and the future is bright for us. At the moment, we have to sort the present, and that is what we are working on."

On Liverpool's prospects in the January transfer window, Klopp replied: "I am the wrong person to ask; I don't know. January in our situation is a window where we are always prepared, that's how it is. 

"It's clear what ideas we have and how the necessity is from our point of view. All the rest doesn't lie 100 per cent in our hands. We always work with what we have got, and that will not change."

England's World Cup exit came despite the Three Lions outperforming every other side at the tournament, says Jamie Carragher, who felt Gareth Southgate could have been "braver" in Saturday's defeat to France.

Harry Kane scored a penalty and missed another as England suffered more quarter-final heartache, despite outplaying the world champions for long periods at Al Bayt stadium.

Despite amassing double the number of shots (16 to eight) and expected goals (2.41 to 1.01) than France, England succumbed to their seventh World Cup quarter-final elimination – a tournament record.

Former Three Lions defender Carragher was present for one of those exits, missing a penalty in a 2006 shoot-out loss to Portugal, but he believes Southgate's men played at a higher level than past England sides.

Recounting England's previous World Cup exits in a column for The Telegraph, Carragher wrote: "The biggest compliment I can pay Southgate's side is that they do not belong with such company. 

"This England team was no underdog going toe-to-toe with the world champions. This England team leaves the tournament having played better than any side in Qatar over their five games, a genuine contender that could and arguably should have gone all the way.

"France won on the night because of moments – a stunning goal from distance and a cross from Antoine Griezmann that would have troubled any defence in the world.

"Then England missed a penalty, knowing that had Harry Kane equalised for a second time, it would have carried positive momentum into extra time."

While praising the quality of England's displays in Qatar, Carragher said Southgate should have made better use of his squad when Saturday's game was poised at 1-1 in the second half.

"When you lose a game there's always things you look back on and think you could have done differently," he told Sky Sports.

"That's easy to say after the event, but I did feel before the game that England had to be brave from the bench. I just felt that in the period between the two goals, we could have been braver from the bench.

"With five substitutions, it's a big part of a manager's role to try to influence or change a game. I know Gareth's been criticised for that in the past, after the games against Croatia [in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals] and Italy [in the Euro 2020 final].

"Both those sides, if we're being totally honest, were better than us. I don't think France were better than us, and I felt the change should have been to try to go and win the game.

"England certainly had the strongest bench in the competition, I firmly believe that, and I just think we could have been a little bit more proactive in that period where it was 1-1 and we were playing really well."

Jamie Carragher was perplexed by Gareth Southgate's "strange" decision to leave "special talent" Phil Foden on the bench in England's goalless World Cup draw with the United States.

The Three Lions remain top of Group B and on the brink of qualifying for the round of 16 heading into a clash with Wales on Tuesday, but were fortunate to secure a point against USA at Al Bayt Stadium on Friday.

England were sluggish and were almost punished when Christian Pulisic rattled the crossbar in the first half after Weston McKennie wasted a good opportunity to open the scoring.

Southgate brought on Jordan Henderson, Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford in the second half, but Manchester City attacking midfielder Foden was an unused substitute.

Former England defender Carragher cannot understand why Foden has not been included in the starting line-up or at least brought off the bench earlier, stating that City boss Pep Guardiola would turn to the 22-year-old ahead of Grealish.

He wrote in his column for The Telegraph: "I was among those hoping Gareth Southgate would turn to the Manchester City youngster. It was baffling that he remained on the bench when the game was crying out for his creativity.

"If you had told me before the tournament that Foden would only feature for 19 minutes of the first two World Cup games, my initial thought would be he must be injured.

"When asked to select my starting XI for the opening fixture against Iran, Foden was in it. The more the squad was studied, the harder it was to leave him out. He is too much of a special talent.

"Speak to any football supporter watching the Premier League over the last three years and ask 'who is the most naturally gifted English footballer today?' and 80 per cent would say Foden. The other 20 per cent are not watching closely enough.

"For Southgate to turn to his substitutes and opt for his City team-mate Jack Grealish ahead of him felt strange. Would Pep Guardiola look to Grealish before Foden if seeking a winning goal? Highly unlikely."

Ex-Liverpool defender Carragher added: "Foden has had plenty of opportunities for England, so it is not as if Southgate has ignored him. But although it is very early in his career, there have been times watching Foden playing for his country when his situation has reminded me of John Barnes in his heyday.

"For those too young to remember, between 1987-91, Barnes was not only the most talented England player of his generation, he was streets ahead of the rest.

"Think of Thierry Henry during his peak years at Arsenal. That is how good Barnes was for Liverpool. Yet for England, he was a shadow of himself.  

"The question was often asked whether the problem was Barnes or England. Surely it cannot be so difficult to accommodate a rare talent?

"It is imperative history does not repeat itself with Foden. Already, it is a shame he is not one of the first picks in the starting line-up, let alone the first go-to player from the bench.

"When Foden played in the last Euros you would have thought it certain he would be established in the side by now. Instead, others have jumped ahead of him.

"I really like Bukayo Saka and have no criticism about his selection given his Arsenal form. I also understand the loyalty to Raheem Sterling who has been one of the best players in the Southgate era.

"Over the last few days we have been rightly talking about Jude Bellingham a lot. But can it just be shrugged aside what Foden has been doing in the Premier League?

"To me, he eclipses those chosen ahead of him. I truly believe if he was Spanish he would be in their first XI."

Jamie Carragher feels Liverpool's upheaval is "a worry" after two backroom departures were reported on Thursday.

Sporting director Julian Ward is widely reported to have decided to leave his role following the conclusion of the current season, just a year after taking over the position from Michael Edwards.

That was followed by The Athletic's report that Liverpool's director of research, Ian Graham, has also issued his resignation and is serving his notice until May.

It leaves Jurgen Klopp's side with important roles in the club hierarchy to fill in a period where the ownership could also change, with FSG looking to attract new investors by selling a minority stake and potentially willing to discuss a full sale.

Those changes are of concern to Carragher, who identified the important part those figures play in the club's recruitment of new players.

"It's not ideal as when you are talking about recruiting players a person in that role is heavily involved not just for the January window but in the summer too," he told Sky Sports.

"It does feel like a shock. It is a little bit of a worry for Liverpool.

"There seems to be upheaval behind the scenes in terms of the ownership.

"Michael Edwards moved on and Ward came in to replace him and now he's gone.

"It won't be easy to get someone straight away as Liverpool won't be prepared for this. Hopefully, someone fills the role and has as much success as they've had in the past."

Liverpool are in need of a response following the World Cup after a disappointing start to the season, sitting sixth in the Premier League, seven points behind the top four and already 15 points adrift of leaders Arsenal.

Gareth Southgate should leave his role as England manager "with his head held high" after the World Cup, according to Jamie Carragher, who says the Three Lions have overachieved during his reign.

Southgate has led England to at least the semi-finals in consecutive major tournaments, becoming the only boss to do so since Alf Ramsey (World Cup winners in 1966, Euro 1968 semi-finalists). 

However, he has faced heavy criticism since he oversaw England's relegation from the top tier of the Nations League in September, and was jeered by supporters following a defeat in Italy.  

While Southgate signed a contract extension to run until the end of Euro 2024 last year, Carragher believes he should call time on his tenure after the trip to Qatar, but says he has earnt the right to make his own decision.

"If I was Gareth Southgate, I would make the Qatar World Cup my swansong as England manager," Carragher wrote in the Telegraph. "Hopefully England will produce to a strong enough level to ensure that is Southgate's call.

"After his excellence in the job to this point, the least he deserves is to leave on his own terms when he feels the time is right. 

"The natural cycle should be for a rethink every four years, so a coach builds towards the next World Cup. Unless Southgate has the energy for that, it is wiser to step away.

"Southgate may win over the doubters for a third time over the next few weeks. My hope for Qatar is for England to again retain interest in the competition until the final week, to give Southgate the option of leaving the job through the front door with his head held high."

Southgate has been charged with adopting a negative approach in several big games during his reign – notably 2018's World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia and the Euro 2020 final loss to Italy.

However, Carragher described criticism of his tactics as a "joke" as he insisted England had not underperformed in recent years.

"He is intelligent enough to have sensed a mood shift over the last few months, even if some of the negativity surrounding him during the build-up to the tournament is a joke," Carragher added.

"It is unreasonable to suggest he should change course from the formula that took England so far in their last two competitions.

"He has not failed to get the most of a talented squad, as some argue. He has over performed with a very good bunch.

"Go through the current England team and there are three players who would be a regular first choice in any club side in the world – Harry Kane, Phil Foden and, in the future, Jude Bellingham.

"The suggestion that this is the greatest England team since 1966 is a myth, but the more it gains traction, the more Southgate must deal with unrealistic demands."

Jamie Carragher is backing Liverpool to spend "up to £200million" to rejuvenate their midfield at the end of the season and believes Jude Bellingham is the "perfect fit".

The 19-year-old England international has excelled with Borussia Dortmund since joining the Bundesliga side in 2019 from Birmingham City and has been touted for a lucrative return to the Premier League.

Liverpool have long been seen as contenders for his services, though recent reports indicate Manchester City are leading the chase. Real Madrid are also said to hold a firm interest.

Landing Bellingham will take a substantial fee, likely one that would exceed Liverpool's club-record of £75m spent on Virgil van Dijk in 2018, but Carragher believes that figure will be a "bargain" after he continues to develop.

"The issue is that the players don't have the energy to play a full game at the intensity they've played at in previous seasons. Teams are now matching their energy, but this isn't something that Liverpool has adapted," he said on Sky Sports' The Overlap.

"The Arsenal game was a fine example of this – when they played Liverpool off the pitch in the second half – and that is why I can see Liverpool spending up to £200m on their midfield in the summer.

"Jude Bellingham would be the perfect fit, but he would be a lot of money.

"When Liverpool have spent big money in the past, it's been on the goalkeeper [Alisson Becker] and Virgil van Dijk, who were bought in at great age profiles.

"Signing Jude Bellingham would be for a lot of money, but it would get to two years down the line and people would see it as a bargain.

"At his age, you'd have him for at least five seasons before he’d move on, which is a great investment for the club."

Liverpool sit eighth in the Premier League, 15 points adrift of leaders Arsenal and seven short of Tottenham in fourth.

Page 1 of 4
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.