By Matt Farr
Sky Sports pundit Danny Higginbotham believes Liverpool can solve their defensive woes by playing two defensive midfielders.
The Reds’ defensive frailties were exposed last month, as they endured a miserable run in January that saw them win just one of their nine games in all competitions.
Defeats to Swansea, Wolves and Southampton saw their Premier League title credentials come into question, but Higginbotham believes he has a viable solution.
He believes that it is perhaps more important for clubs at the top of the table, like Liverpool, to utilise two holding-midfielders in their line-ups than it is for those at the bottom.
Liverpool currently deploy Jordan Henderson in the role, but Higginbotham is adamant that it still leaves Jurgen Klopp’s side vulnerable when they lose possession.
He insists that with Liverpool’s attack-minded full-backs James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne often bombing forward, Henderson cannot do the job of covering both flanks.
In his column for the Sun, Higginbotham said: “The reason Klopp’s side have been picked-off and Chelsea have ridden roughshod over the lesser lights is down, in part, to having double protection in the middle. They won’t leave themselves vulnerable when they lose the ball.
“For Liverpool, only having Henderson doing that role leaves them horribly exposed down the flanks when the rest of the team bomb on.
“He cannot get out and cover. It’s a two-man job if the full-backs bomb on.”
Klopp will not be short of options should he decide to take Higginbotham’s advice and make that change.
Senior trio Emre Can, Lucas Leiva and Georginio Wijnaldum could all be deployed in that holding-midfield role alongside Henderson, but it is probably Germany international Can that would have the greatest effect.
Nevertheless, Klopp and Liverpool will simply not get away without making a single change, having conceded the joint-most goals in the Premier League’s top-seven.
In other Liverpool news, Liverpool-born boxer Tony Bellew has hit out at the Reds, and delivered his verdict on Jurgen Klopp.