John Aldridge suggests Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp would be better off dropping two of his starting midfielders.
Following such a terrific start to the campaign, Liverpool’s form has taken a dip of late, winning just two of their last five Premier League fixtures and exiting the FA Cup in between.
That has allowed Manchester City to close the gap on the league leader and return to the summit on goal difference with an extra game played.
John Aldridge, who won the old First Division with the Reds back in 1988, believes the club is not in crisis mode, but that they do have a major quandary in the team: their midfield.
The former striker has pinpointed Adam Lallana and Naby Keita as problem players, suggesting that one of them should be dropped as they cannot function together.
“Klopp’s side dropped more points at West Ham, but a bigger issue for me in both games has been the performance or lack of it from Liverpool’s midfielders,” Aldridge told the Irish Independent.
“Salah, Mane and Firmino will give you a cutting edge if the balance of the team is right, but the players sitting behind them at West Ham failed to produce the goods and it cost Liverpool.
“I know Klopp was forced into changes due to injuries, but Adam Lallana and Naby Keita cannot play together in midfield again, as they are just not up to the job for a title-winning team.
“My first impressions of Lallana when he came to Liverpool were not positive and while he proved me wrong to an extent with some good performances before his recent injury problems, it looks like he is struggling to get back to those levels once again after so long in the treatment room.
“As for Keita, he has not settled at Liverpool and has failed to deliver the performances we were expecting from him, with Klopp and his coaching staff fighting to get him up to speed and still waiting to see if he will be good enough to play in this team.”