John Aldridge identifies two struggling Liverpool first teamers, claims Klopp must axe one
By Dominic Toner
John Aldridge believes that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp must drop either Emre Can or Georginio Wijnaldum from the starting line-up.
The Reds have operated with a three-man midfield system for the majority of the season and it has worked effectively for the most part.
However, the absence of attacker Sadio Mane due to the Africa Cup of Nations has impacted the team in a negative way.
Can, Wijnaldum and captain Jordan Henderson have formed the midfield trio in recent weeks, with Adam Lallana pushing forward into a more advanced role.
Ex-Liverpool striker Aldridge has suggested that Lallana should drop back into a central midfield position, meaning either Can or Wijnaldum should miss out.
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“Lallana can’t be moved any more” Aldridge wrote in the Echo. “I understand why he’s (Klopp) gone with tried and tested Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum in midfield, but it’s just not working and one of those should probably make way for Lallana dropping back.”
Can is regarded as a senior player at Anfield and has made 111 appearances since he joined the Merseyside club in 2014.
The German central midfielder is comfortable possession and is most effective as a defensive screen.
Wijnaldum only moved to Liverpool in the summer from Newcastle and has established himself as an important player this season.
The midfielder was used as an attacking midfielder during his spell with the Magpies, but has been a lot more disciplined in Klopp’s side.
Liverpool did have the preferred combination of Henderson, Wijnaldum and Lallana during the earlier stages of the campaign and Klopp may have to resort to that selection following the 3-2 defeat to Swansea on Saturday.
In other Liverpool news, a BBC pundit has shared why he thinks the club won’t win the Premier League.