Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been criticised for not having addressed his side’s problems in defence over the summer as they continue to struggle.
The Merseyside giants shipped five goals against Manchester City at the weekend, while they conceded three away at Watford in their opening game of the season.
In turn, it’s a problem that needed to be addressed this past summer, as predicted by many supporters and pundits alike, particularly given that it was the biggest area of weakness for Liverpool last season as well.
“It showed they don’t have a squad capable of shutting up shop – they haven’t addressed problems already there,” The Daily Telegraph’s Matt Law said on Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement.
“I wasn’t impressed with them at Watford – they’ve conceded eight goals in two away games. I find it weird that Jurgen Klopp is going for players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thomas Lemar, yet it’s absolutely clear they need a central defender and possibly a goalkeeper.
“I don’t get why they made Virgil van Dijk their number one target and then when they couldn’t get him, say that they’re not interested in a central defender. There are other central defenders out there that would improve Liverpool’s defence.”
It’s a perfectly valid point, and it could cost Liverpool over the course of the season, especially on their return to the Champions League with world class opposition able to pick them apart and take opportunities.
While they can boast their own attacking threats and a potent trident up front, they need to find a solution at the back to be harder to break down and only then are they really likely to compete for major honours.
Sadio Mane’s sending off was undoubtedly a turning point in the game as Liverpool and City looked well matched up to that point with the visitors creating plenty of chances at the Etihad, but that shouldn’t mask over their problems at the back moving forward and it needs to be assessed again in January.