Danny Murphy has claimed that Liverpool can’t live without Trent Alexander-Arnold and Thiago Alcantara in the starting XI.
The Academy graduate was a second half substitute as the Reds fell to a shocking 1-0 defeat against Nottingham Forest on Saturday while the Spain international was ruled out hours before the game with an ear infection.
Jurgen Klopp’s side dominated possession at the City Ground but after ex-Red Taiwo Awoniyi earned the newly-promoted side just their second win of the campaign, Murphy believes the pair’s absence impacted the Anfield outfit’s performance severely.
“Once you take Thiago and Trent out of that XI, you don’t have anyone with that courage to keep looking up and split a packed defence,” Murphy told Match of the Day (as quoted by Metro).
“Trent played midweek so maybe he [Klopp] didn’t want to risk him, but I think there is an argument to suggest strengthening the midfield.
“Klopp had no choice but to play the kids [Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones], and there was bad luck with the forwards being injured as well.”
The two players are a vitally important part of Klopp’s side and the way he likes to play and without them in the team we lacked any real creativity.
Our No. 66 has reinvented the full-back position in recent seasons and with his insane crossing ability he regularly creates chances for the side.
In terms of Thiago, the former Barcelona man controls most games that he plays in and it’s always clear that he’s not in the side as we struggle to get a grip of things in the middle of the park.
Fabinho, who has been recognised as one of the best holding midfielders in the world in recent seasons, appears to be a shadow of his former self so far this term which is concerning also.
Although we had the exciting talents of Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho in the side, Steve Cooper’s men were comfortable defending with 10 men behind the ball while looking to create chances on the counter attack.
Our best opportunities came from set pieces but Virgil van Dijk’s decision making was questionable at times as he twice looked to set up his teammates rather than heading towards goal.
We travel to Amsterdam to face Ajax on Wednesday and we needed a much improved performance as a point will be enough to see us progress through to the knockout stages.