Danny Murphy would be ‘really surprised’ if Liverpool do not sign a central defender in the January transfer window.
The Reds are yet to do any business this month, despite losing defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to long-term knee injuries.
Liverpool are on a five-match winless run in the Premier League and suffered a 3-2 FA Cup fourth round defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
Young defender Rhys Williams partnered midfielder Fabinho in defence as Jurgen Klopp’s side struggled at the back.
Former Liverpool midfielder Murphy has conceded the Reds are ‘defensively not right’.
He told talkSPORT: “The small area of concern is the lack of transfer activity when they’re so desperately in need.
“I don’t think you should go out and buy for the sake of it. If you can’t get the ones you want in then you don’t do it.
“Defensively they’re not right, are they? That’s for sure. I know they’re not scoring, but you could see yesterday defensively they’re not right when [Joel] Matip isn’t there.
“So I hope for everybody’s sake they do something in the last few days of the window, give everyone a boost and then a decent result at Tottenham [on Thursday] can get them back on track.
“It’s a difficult time for them. It’s a weird season. There’s one thing for sure, Jurgen Klopp’s got plenty in the bank. I don’t mean money, I mean credit.”
Asked if he expected Liverpool to sign a defender this month, Murphy replied: “I would really hope so. I’d be really surprised if nothing happened.”
Liverpool are fourth in the table and face five of the Premier League’s top seven in their next six games.
And Murphy insists a top-four finish will not be good enough for the Reds, who are six points behind leaders Manchester United.
He said: “I’ll still think he [Klopp] will be confident enough of getting top four with the attacking prowess they’ve got because those players are top class.
“Just because they’re having a little dip, that [quality] will come back. I’m not worried about goalscoring. He’ll believe they’ll get top four, but that’s not good enough now.
“Liverpool are way above that in terms of where they want to be and expectations and what the fans desire.
“If they don’t sign a defender, how fit can Matip stay with all the games? They’ll need [Jordan] Henderson and Matip fit, if they get those two fit they’ll be alright.”
Dean Ashton, meanwhile, is not so optimistic about the champions’ top-four hopes – unless they delve into the market to sign a defender this month.
Speaking during talkSPORT’s coverage of Wycombe’s FA Cup clash against Tottenham on Monday night, Ashton said: “Suddenly Liverpool fans will be worried about the top four. I’m flabbergasted there hasn’t been a centre-back ready to be signed on January 1 – that they haven’t sorted that out.
“Even if it is for six months and going this player is coming in and we almost don’t care if we lose money on this as we’re bringing in this player to fill the gaps.
“You can’t have your best holding midfield player out of position for the season. In terms of the way Liverpool play and the way they press, Henderson is the one that starts it.
“You can’t have him playing centre-back for the whole season. I’m amazed they haven’t brought players in and unless they do I think it’s going to be a tough second half of the season.”