James Pearce has expressed surprise at Jurgen Klopp’s decision to not bring on Naby Keita against Chelsea.
Following the sending off of Reece James after the Blues’ defender handled the ball on the goal-line, Thomas Tuchel’s men opted for containment tactics
“I was surprised he didn’t bring on Keita,” the journalist wrote in a Q&A for The Athletic. “He has the ability to burst past players and create. LFC were lacking that.”
It’s a problem similarly identified by former Red Stan Collymore, with the pundit suggesting that Klopp’s men could do with exploring the possibility of acquiring a “dynamic midfielder” in the window.
The former Dortmund boss has earned some criticism for his selection decisions, though few would have argued against his XI favoured prior to Kai Havertz’s goal, with us appearing to be a significant threat in the opening stages.
There was certainly an argument to be made for bringing out Keita when Chelsea switched to a low-block to make up for the loss of Reece James, though equally, one could argue for the value of Thiago Alcantara’s creativity in that moment.
Ultimately, heading into the international break with seven points from the opening nine is far from disastrous and we’ll be looking forward to catching Liverpool against Leeds United in September.