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Man Utd icon Michael Carrick may solve Liverpool’s puzzle

Man Utd icon Michael Carrick may solve Liverpool’s puzzle

Liverpool could solve one of their most pressing issues with the help of a former Manchester United player before the summer transfer window closes. The Reds are currently low on homegrown players and will need to add more following the exits of several long-serving stars, including the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan Henderson and James Milner.

Liverpool no longer have the minimum of seven homegrown players they need for a Premier League squad, which could force them into relying on youth to make up the numbers. Ben Doak and James McConnell were both named on the bench for Sunday’s draw at Chelsea but it seems clear that Jurgen Klopp could benefit from a few more homegrown stars at his disposal.

The Reds could do far worse than to target a move for Middlesbrough playmaker Hayden Hackney, who enjoyed a brilliant breakthrough campaign at the Riverside last season. The 21-year-old has thrived under the guidance of Michael Carrick and the former United midfielder could do Liverpool a massive favour by sanctioning Hackney’s exit this summer.

Any deal would need to be made worthwhile for Carrick, though, with Liverpool unlikely to secure Hackney’s signature on the cheap. He was linked with the Merseyside giants as well as Arsenal and Newcastle earlier this summer but recently ended the speculation by signing a new long-term contract at Middlesbrough.

Hackney is valued at just over £2million by Transfermarkt but would surely command a higher fee, given his ceiling for potential growth and his status as a homegrown player. He emerged as a key man for Middlesbrough during the second half of last season and has played every minute of the new campaign for the Teeside club thus far.

Carrick waxed lyrical over Hackney after he was nominated for the Championship Young Player of the Season award back in April, saying: “One of the biggest things I could say about Hayden is you would never know what has just happened in the game or the previous game in that moment, he just carries on, plays his football and believes in himself.

Jude Ogbonna

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