Liverpool close to matching Man Utd & City depth with Fabinho & Fekir deals, claims Murphy

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PAUL ELLIS
The former Reds midfielder is pleased to see Jurgen Klopp making early moves in the transfer market and bridging the gap on their rivals

Liverpool are “close” to matching Manchester rivals United and City when it comes to squad depth, says Danny Murphy, with early transfer business done and the promise of more to come.

The Reds were able to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League during the 2017-18 campaign, while reaching the Champions League final, but they did lean heavily on their strongest XI.

Any untimely injuries exposed the lack of options available to Jurgen Klopp, but efforts are being made to address those issues over the summer.

One deal for Fabinho has already been done, Naby Keita is due to arrive from RB Leipzig, while a big-money agreement for Lyon playmaker Nabil Fekir is in the pipeline – with Goal confirming that a £60 million move should be pushed through before the World Cup.

Murphy has been impressed by the goings on at Anfield, telling ESPN ahead of an outing in the Soccer Aid charity match at Old Trafford on Sunday: "I like the fact they're getting their business done early.

"I always felt at clubs when players were coming in late it was detrimental because then you've got other players going, 'hold on, is that me out of the door?' Get your business done early.

"I still think the keeper thing needs addressing and I think it will be, and maybe another centre-back. But in terms of attacking areas, I think they're alright.

"Strength in depth is a question mark maybe, in terms of when you look at the benches of United and City. If you look at United's front six it's incredible really. But I'm pleased. They're close."

While Liverpool are heading in the right direction, domestic and continental rivals are also expected to spend during the current window and it remains to be seen whether further challenges for major honours can be mounted in 2018-19.

Murphy added: "It's hard to judge right now depending what the others do. Who's to say United won't go again?

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"But Liverpool getting stuff done early is really beneficial in terms of prepping and getting them in and working on combinations.

"Also the way Klopp plays, it's quite intense and specific and they're going to have to get on board with that because if you come in late July or late August, you're going to take a little... you know, [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain took a while, they had to get him up to speed. The left-back [Andy] Robertson the same, he didn't play for a while because he had to [adjust].

"Klopp gets his players and he thinks, 'They are not ready for what I want them to do.' Whereas if he gets them now, it gives him a head start."

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