Liverpool’s issues at the back are not necessarily because we have poor defenders, but because we cannot get our two best ones on the pitch nearly enough, says Jamie Carragher.
And our legendary former player is right.
Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren are, by some distance, Liverpool’s best two centre-backs, but they’re consistently unavailable – so that either Ragnar Klavan or holding midfielder Lucas has to play in their place.
Last night, the ageing Estonian replaced Matip in the lineup and defended horribly at the death which saw us throw away a 2-1 lead.
This term, Matip’s made 20 Premier League starts, missing 11, while Lovren’s played 22, missing 9. They’ve both missed a third of our matches, and often at different times – meaning they’ve been fielded together far less regularly than is ideal.
Problem for @Lfc is Lovren & Matip always missing games, need to be tougher. 3rd choice Klavan then has to play more & eventually it shows.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) April 5, 2017
During the ten seasons Sami Hyypia was at Liverpool, he averaged 46.4 games a season in all competitions.
Can you see the problem..?
Klavan proved last night that he’s not a long-term or even a short-term option as backup – meaning we not only need quality signed – but also consistent fitness.
Our new centre-back who’ll surely arrive this summer, needs to be capable of playing a full campaign without picking up the kind of niggles that have dogged Lovren and Matip this term.
Then, those two will be fighting to start alongside the incomer.