Keown says Klopp was wrong to put faith in midfielders as makeshift defenders

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Martin Keown has accused Jurgen Klopp of making a “mistake” by moving the likes of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho into defence at times as cover for long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, as reported by the Echo.

The German had utilised the Brazilian and Joel Matip as his makeshift centre-back pairing, with further injuries to the duo encouraging the club to bring in Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak in the winter window.

“It’s been a mistake moving the midfield into the back line, having to change so many players,” the former Arsenal defender told Match of the Day.

The loan signing of the Turkey international has proved to be a shrewd move thus far, though a promising partnership with the Reds’ skipper was brought to a swift end in the Merseyside derby as the No.14 was replaced in the first-half after sustaining a hamstring injury.

While we’re more than aware of the harm that positional changes can have on the structure of a side, not to mention individual performances, Klopp hardly had a better choice available to him.

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Considering the relative inexperience of Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips, we would have been taking a massive risk by selecting the pair as our starting duo for the remainder of the season.

Likewise, one might fairly argue that Kabak and Davies are yet to fully implement themselves within the squad and garner a full understanding of what is expected of them in a red shirt.

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