Phil Thompson has suggested that Liverpool’s best midfield combination is comprised of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and James Milner.
The former centre-half suggested that Thiago Alcantara would need time to make an impact on the pitch following a return from injury.
“Well, the best functioning three at this moment in time, if they’re fit… if you get the likes of James Milner (I know he’s a lot older) and Henderson – those two on both sides of Fabinho in the centre,” the ex-Red told Off The Ball.
“Because Fabinho does get that protection to the back two and the energy of the other two [midfielders] can go about and set patterns and closing down.
“I always feel at the moment that’s Liverpool’s best three.
“You’d be amazed because you’re saying no Thiago in there. I don’t think he dictates things from what I’ve seen of him at Liverpool. It takes him maybe five or six games before he’s actually up to speed when he comes back in games.”
With James Milner still recovering from injury, it’s unlikely Jurgen Klopp will see the veteran Englishman back in action in time for the hosting of Arsenal at Anfield.
Having previously examined the statistics around our midfielders’ suitability to filling the gap left by Gini Wijnaldum’s departure, it’s arguably clear that one of Naby Keita, Curtis Jones or James Milner would be better suited to the challenge than Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Our midfield has looked a little too easy to play against at times without the right mix of guile and energy in the middle of the park to encourage forward play whilst offering sufficient cover to the backline.
We’ve no doubt this will be a concern that Klopp and his coaching staff will have discussed over the course of the international break, however, and we’ll be looking forward to see what they come up with tomorrow.