Michael Owen has summed up Liverpool's current fortunes on the pitch by suggesting that even Lionel Messi would struggle to make an impression in the Reds' current squad.
Liverpool are currently ninth in the Premier League standings with just 29 points from 19 games and find themselves ten points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, although the Red Devils have played one more game. Jurgen Klopp and co have struggled recently and played out a drab 0-0 draw against Chelsea at Anfield, with the Blues also struggling to make an impression under Graham Potter.
Speaking to the Mirror, as cited by Anfield Watch's Twitter account, Owen made an interesting claim involving Lionel Messi and Liverpool.
"I would defy even Lionel Messi to come in and look good in this Liverpool team because it's really struggling."
Liverpool have endured a tough season due to injuries and inconsistency and face an uphill battle to secure a top-four finish. After the Reds' 0-0 draw against Chelsea, Jordan Henderson admitted that Liverpool have been nowhere close to their best. Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, as cited by Anfield Watch's Twitter account, the Reds skipper suggested that drastic improvement is needed in the coming weeks to salvage the season.
Henderson: "We can't just accept it and settle for falling short either in games or over the course of the season. This club stands for much more than that and anyone who is fortunate enough to play here knows that nothing but the best will ever be good enough."
"This season, in general, and the last few weeks in particular have not been easy for us. We have not been at our best or anywhere near as consistent as we need to be.
"And the standards that we have set for ourselves have not been met. To say it has not been good enough would be an understatement. Again, though, being at Liverpool means this does not just need to improve - it has to improve."
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
Lionel Messi is the best player in world football as he showed at the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Argentina in Qatar, but it's not hard to see what Michael Owen is trying to convey. Liverpool have looked completely disjointed this season and have seemingly lost their identity, so it wouldn't be going too far in saying that even the best players in the world would struggle in the current setup.
🚨 NEW: While Jurgen Klopp intends to partially regenerate the squad with more recruits, his broader intention is to sprinkle the magic dust through coaching. #lfc [chris bascombe - telegraph]
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) January 23, 2023
There have been calls to dip into the transfer market to refresh the squad this month, but as hard as it is to admit, Liverpool can fare a lot better with the options they currently have at their disposal.