Exclusive: Danny Murphy on Mohamed Salah, Fabio Carvalho, Jude Bellingham and more

Exclusive: Danny Murphy on Mohamed Salah, Fabio Carvalho, Jude Bellingham and more

Former Liverpool player Danny Murphy has spoken exclusively to Anfield Watch about the Reds' squad depth, Mohamed Salah's contract and much more.

Speaking on behalf of 888, Murphy talked about an array of subjects. Firstly, the former Reds midfielder talked about how Salah's new contract will help Liverpool in the future.

Murphy also spoke about the club's new signing Fabio Carvalho and how the Reds can rely on their current midfield for another year before potentially trying to sign Jude Bellingham.

Mohamed Salah's contract

“Dealing with Mane, I don’t think when a player has his eye on leaving there is that much choice in the matter. Liverpool planned for it well, bringing in (Luis) Diaz before Mane left, and he is ultimately the guy who will play the majority of the games on the left.

"He has very simple traits in many ways with that wonderful tenacity and skillset. So that was clever, and now bringing in Darwin Nunez means they still have competition for places as well as replacing Mane’s goals output that was such a huge factor in Liverpool’s success.

"So I’m happy with what they’ve done there and after Mane left, keeping Salah became very important for the club. To lose both would have been a huge blow because from a footballing point of view continuity is a good thing in terms of people knowing each other’s roles and having relationships.

"And I don’t think Salah is the kind of player who will fall into a comfort zone and drop his levels just because he’s got more money.

"He’s got plenty anyway and he still keeps scoring a stupid amount of goals and playing to a high level. So, I’m not concerned about that.

"From a business point of view I think it’s really shrewd because if it’s the four hundred grand that has been reported, you’re talking twenty million a year.

"If you’re trying to bring in someone to replace the goals that Salah scores, then that’s going to cost a lot more than twenty million and that’s before you start on the wages. So keeping him makes sense.

"The only knock-on effect is that people think players will start to knock on the manager’s door and want what he’s earning. I don’t believe that will be the case because players tend to understand their worth and understand that the player who scores the goals gets more money.

"If ultimately people like Van Dijk or Thiago (Alcantara) knock on the door and say ‘Well, Salah is getting this and I want this’, Liverpool will then have to say ‘tough’ or find a balance.

"I don’t think on this particular occasion it was worth cutting your nose off to spite your face and setting a precedent by saying ‘we won’t be dictated to’.

"It was worth doing and he probably deserves it when you look at some of the astronomical wages that are around the Premier League. I think Salah can look back on his time at Liverpool and say if anyone deserves to be among the best paid players in the league it’s probably him.”

Liverpool's squad depth

“The front three for a long period that was set in stone was hugely important to Liverpool’s success. The durability of them for a start; the fact they could play so many games together and consistently perform was great. That meant any problems behind them weren’t as important because of how potent they were as a three.

"The importance of Nunez and Diaz hitting the ground running is maybe not so important because of (Diogo) Jota’s success. I feel for him a little bit because he didn’t start a few big games towards the end of last season and his contribution since he’s come in has been phenomenal really. What do you want from an attacking player? Goals and assists and he offered up both.

"You obviously don’t want a slow start from Nunez but it’s not as important as it could have been and that’s because of Jota and also Diaz. He looks settled in his new environment. He isn’t fazed by the pressure. He has all the attributes that endear him to fans with that mixture of quality and work ethic which is crucial at Liverpool for Klopp.

"So there is an expectancy on Nunez and excitement to see him but with the strength in depth up front now it’s not crucial that he flies from the start.”

Fabio Carvalho

“This lad is a talent. He always wants the ball and he’s a lovely technician. I don’t think Carvalho is going to be eased in. I think he’s going to feature a fair bit because this lad can play.

"We obviously talk about the big names because they have come for big money but we will see more of Carvalho than you think.”

Liverpool to potentially target Jude Bellingham next summer

“We’re always looking for perfection and would Liverpool want to bring in someone in midfield to make that area that little bit more competitive? Probably, in an ideal world, but I don’t think it’s a necessity. Because when you look at the numbers, it’s not as scarce as you think.

"I think Curtis Jones is a tremendous talent and we will see more of him. I did think he would have kicked on more last season but he’s not going to go away.

"You already have Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, and Thiago. I think (Naby) Keita is staying with Klopp thinking there is more to come from him. He’s shown a lot of faith in him really because though he’s had the occasional brilliant game, more often than not he has flattered to deceive.

"So, you have those four and (James) Milner has signed a new contract to come in for certain games and I get the impression that Klopp is happy with his lot for the moment.

"Longer-term they will be looking at someone like Declan Rice to replace Henderson in that holding role. And Jude Bellingham is a wonderful talent who can play anywhere in the middle of the park. Would he add quality and excitement and competition? Yes.

"I think Bellingham will be courted by lots of clubs and Liverpool aren’t daft, they will be keeping an eye on the situation.

"But for one more season in that midfield area, I wouldn’t be that concerned. There is enough there and I’m sure Klopp will believe in some of the young lads as well.”

Thiago Alcantara

“Thiago impressed me when I first saw him playing at Barcelona and he has never stopped impressing me. I’m a midfielder and I love watching midfielders play progressive football.

"His best asset is his courage on the ball. He will take it in any pressurised situation and get you higher up the pitch. A lot of people think that every player has that courage but I’m telling you now, that’s the hardest thing, to keep getting on the ball and keep making things happen against any opposition, against any tactics designed to stop you.

"I had numerous debates with people on the radio when he first came to Liverpool. I know my old mate Didi Hamann has been a bit critical of Thiago and that surprises me because he’s a bright guy, but that’s football I suppose. We all have our opinions. I have never seen anything but strength and quality in his game.

"The ability to dictate the tempo of a game, to quicken it up or slow it down, is one of the hardest things you can do. Stevie Gerrard was good at it but it’s a rare skill. It’s knowing when to play safe and knowing when to play quickly through the lines and Thiago has got it.

"He is never going to out-jump you or out-run you or smash you in tackles but he will out-think you and out-play you, and out-manoeuvre you. His biggest fault is his inability to stay fit through a whole season which he obviously cannot be blamed for but when fit I imagine he’s an absolute nightmare to play against.

"He made the Premier League Team of the Year and didn’t even play that many games. That’s how impressive he is to other footballers.”

Share This Article
Have Your Say
Enjoying Anfield Watch?
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter