By Will Butcher
Garth Crooks has criticised Jurgen Klopp for ostracising Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho as he shines on loan at Crystal Palace.
Sakho, 27, had previously starred for Liverpool for three seasons after signing from Paris Saint-Germain in 2013, but a pre-season bust-up in America saw Klopp and Sakho fall out.
In his BBC Team of the Week column, former Tottenham striker Crooks claimed the Reds cannot do without a defender like Sakho as they suffer from their own defensive woes.
“Sakho had acquired cult status at Anfield only to be unceremoniously shown the door by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp after a disagreement between the two men,” Crooks said.
“Bust-ups between highly-strung characters were common place in my day, so why it should signal the departure of this totally committed defender, I don’t understand.
“How the Reds can dispense with the services of Sakho with the defence they have is worth a debate all by itself.”
France international Sakho was in wonderful form on Saturday, as Crystal Palace defied the odds to beat West Brom in the Baggies’ own back yard by two goals to nil.
Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend struck for the Eagles, as Sakho was as a rock-like figure at the back for Sam Allardyce’s side.
Liverpool have conceded more goals than any other team in the Premier League’s top six, keeping just seven clean sheets in 27 league games.
Doubts over Dejan Lovren’s displays continue, although they have arguably suffered even more while he’s been out injured, while Lucas Leiva has failed to impress since being converted into a defender by manager Klopp.
The Reds have won just two Premier League encounters in 2017, and will be hoping to make it three against Burnley at Anfield on Sunday.
In other Liverpool news, fans have reacted to Arsenal reports of a bust-up involving Alexis Sanchez.