John Barnes has questioned Liverpool’s interest in Thiago Alcantara and believes the club would ‘concede more goals’ with the Bayern Munich star in their midfield.
Liverpool have been strongly linked with a move for the Spain international who has informed Bayern of his desire for a new challenge this summer, the 29-year-old having won seven consecutive Bundesliga titles since moving to Germany from Barcelona in 2013.
Jurgen Klopp is believed to a huge admirer of the player – who has also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain – but former Reds’ great Barnes believes the addition of another attack-minded player could upset the balance in their title-winning side.
“With the midfield being very workmanlike, they are a lot of points better off than everybody else,” Barnes told BBC Sport.
“The reason you can have two full-backs attacking at the same time and three strikers is because they have three hard-working midfielders to protect that situation.
“If you get another creative midfielder and you want your full-backs and front three to attack, then maybe you are going to concede more goals.”
Barnes pointed towards runners-up Manchester City as evidence that too much creativity can prove detrimental to defensive solidity, believing Liverpool’s workmanlike midfield was a key factor behind Klopp’s side finishing comfortably clear of last season’s champions.
“Manchester City have got how many creative players in their midfield? But Liverpool finished 20-odd points ahead of them. Maybe Manchester City should say: ‘Let’s get more hard-working players in midfield so we can catch Liverpool.'”