Under-pressure Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been advised that he needs to axe six players from his side if he is to help the Reds improve and spare himself from the sack.
The Merseysiders have enjoyed a brilliant time of things since the German took charge. Indeed, having reached three Champions League finals and ended their long 30-year wait to be crowned English champions, Klopp will always be remembered as a Liverpool legend.
And having also gone just a few games short of winning an unprecedented quadruple last season, few would have predicted the major drop-off that was to come this season.
As it stands, Liverpool are eighth in the Premier League, having lost seven of their 22 games to date.
Their shortcomings have been obvious this season, with issues all over the pitch. And never were they were more brutally exposed than on Tuesday night against Real Madrid. The reigning Champions League holders were merciless at Anfield, thrashing Liverpool 5-2.
And with their trophy hopes over for another season – Liverpool are also out of the FA Cup and League Cup – Jamie Carragher has told Liverpool some brutal truths about where they are going wrong.
It all amounts to speculation beginning to rise on the Liverpool manager. As a result, there are suggestions growing that Reds owners FSG are pondering his future for the first time.
To that end, the name of a highly-rated German successor was touted for the Anfield hotseat earlier this week.
Carragher reckons though that their problems are not just connected to their midfield. And the pundit has also highlighted big issues in defence and attack.
READ MORE: Pressure mounting on Klopp as Liverpool are linked with one of world’s best coaches to replace him
Danny Murphy tells Klopp to axe six Liverpool stars
Danny Murphy, however, has gone one step further and has named the players Liverpool need rid of.
Picking up on the sextet who have let their standards drop and thus put Klopp’s job in jeopardy, Murphy told talkSPORT that immediate changes are needed.
However, he has dismissed the notion that Klopp will be fired, despite reports to the contrary.
“I think it’s time for a big reset, I think there’s going to be five or six gone in the summer.
“And I think Klopp knows. Klopp will get the opportunity to fix this and he deserves that opportunity, a hundred per cent.
“I think most fans are with me on that. Is it easy getting players out the door? Some who will be on big money? We will have to wait and see.
“But I think you’re looking at least half a dozen, maybe four of five at least. They probably need half a dozen coming in, in the summer.”
Pressed by host Jim White at what players need to leave, Murphy gave a pretty firm response.
“Well I think there are some obvious ones who are nearing the end of their contracts or career.
“When you’ve got Keita, Ox, Milner is near the end, that’s three in midfield, that leaves space then.
“You could probably throw Fabinho in there maybe, depending on how much you could get for him to get someone younger in that role with more energy.
“That would be three or four spaces in midfield that would give you carte blanche then to bring in new players and entice them in.
“Because it’s hard enticing players into a club, a big club, unless they’re the best in the world, who see so many players in your position, and think, ‘Where am I going to play?”
Klopp to make tough choice and let Matip and an attacker leave
Murphy also reckons some tough choices are needed to strengthen in defence with Joel Matip not the player he was. He was definitely among those at the fault against Real, with the match ranking high among their worst losses under Klopp ever.
“So some of them are definitely going to go, maybe a new centre-half. Matip has been there seven or eight years.
“Matip has been great by the way, it’s not a criticism of him. But there’s a time where the squad has to evolve.”
Murphy also reckons Klopp will need to whittle down his forward options. Currently there are six players, when all fit, battling for three positions. As a result, Murphy thinks it is one too many for Liverpool to comfortably accommodate.
“We’ve got an abundance of talent in forward areas. Liverpool are a bit top-heavy when you look at the options in midfield, they’re nowhere near as good as the six forwards we’ve got.
“Six forwards for three positions, unless he changes his tactics. We’ve got [Cody] Gakpo, [Luis] Diaz, [Diogo] Jota, Bobby Firmino, Mo Salah and [Darwin] Nunez.
“We don’t need six, so one of them might go as well. But he’s got to free up some space to bring in some new energy.”
Despite Murphy’s suggestions, Klopp is among the favourites to next lose his job in the Premier League. Indeed, with nine dismissals from the 20 clubs already this season, there are very few who count themselves safe in their jobs. Would it be a major surprise were Klopp to be next? Yes and no….