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Former Liverpool midfielder urges Jurgen Klopp to drop star defender ahead of Merseyside derby

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
Sai Teja
ANALYST
Modified 14 Oct 2020, 04:31 IST
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Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has urged Jurgen Klopp to drop star defender Joe Gomez for the Reds' upcoming Merseyside derby.

The Englishman was a regular for Liverpool in their title-winning campaign in 2019/20 and is one of the most highly-rated English defenders among the current crop of players. However, he has struggled for form in recent times, particularly in Liverpool's embarrassing 7-2 thrashing at Villa Park.

Gomez was substituted ahead of the final half an hour of the game, and was replaced by Fabinho in the heart of defence alongside Virgil van Dijk.

Murphy believes that his lack of confidence, coupled with the fact that their upcoming opponents Everton are one of the most in-form sides in the Premier League, could possibly call for a change in personnel.


Murphy tips Liverpool boss Klopp to drop Gomez

Joe Gomez was terribly out of sorts in their loss to Aston Villa
Joe Gomez was terribly out of sorts in their loss to Aston Villa

Writing in his column in the Daily Mail on the Liverpool star, Danny Murphy explained;

"He [Joe Gomez] does not look as confident, or even fit, compared to his prime and the manager [Jurgen Klopp] faces a big decision whether to take him out of the firing line. It is always a tricky call. Some players benefit from having a breather, gather their thoughts and come back stronger."
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"I always liked to have that final chance if I was out of form and invariably put in a better performance. For me, rising to the challenge helped, whereas being dropped might have knocked my confidence."

The former England and Liverpool midfielder continued,

"I do not know Gomez’s character but from the outside, I would say it would be better for Liverpool if Fabinho partnered Virgil van Dijk for the derby, particularly as Klopp should have other strong options in midfield. The middle of a back four is such a crucial part of the pitch and particularly so for Liverpool on this occasion, because Everton’s main strength is their front three, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring every time he plays."

The seemingly invincible partnership between Van Dijk and Gomez was broken several times in the recent past, which resulted in losses against Manchester City, Watford, Arsenal, and others.

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Murphy also added that Liverpool's rivals, Everton, are in fine form and could indeed expect a positive result against the defending champions. Carlo Ancelotti's Toffees side sit atop the Premier League table with four wins in four, and have played some scintillating football under the Italian.

He continued,

"In theory, Everton will be happier than Liverpool at having the Merseyside derby next up in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Saturday. They are on a great run of form with maximum points under Carlo Ancelotti, while Liverpool were drubbed 7-2 at Aston Villa in their last game and have not had time to work on mistakes, with players scattered around the world on international duty."
"For the first time for many years, the blue half of the city will understandably go into the game expecting to win but in football you are best to be careful, particularly given a team as good as this Liverpool."

Star goalkeeper Alisson Becker is set to miss the Merseyside derby as he is currently nursing a shoulder injury, due to which stand-in keeper Adrian is expected to reta his spot in the starting XI.


Also read: Liverpool considering move for Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland amidst Alisson's injury concerns

Published 13 Oct 2020, 23:54 IST
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