Former Liverpool midfielder Jason McAteer has named Virgil van Dijk and Alisson as the only two players that are “irreplaceable” at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have had an exceptional season, only dropping two points in building up a mammoth 22-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
They are arguably the best team in world football at the moment but McAteer believes that Jurgen Klopp would only struggle replacing two of their players.
“There are only two players in the Liverpool team who are irreplaceable – Virgil van Dijk and Alisson,” McAteer told the Racing Post.
“Take either of those two out of the starting 11 and Liverpool are instantly weaker.
“Take anyone else out, however, and it’s a different story – and even though I am a massive fan of his, that includes Jordan Henderson.
“Jurgen Klopp has so much cover in all areas that he can afford to lose key men for periods.
“When he lost Fabinho earlier in the season I remember the gasps and there were plenty of people saying he’d lost the most important cog in the midfield, the heartbeat of the team. Well yes, he was a miss – but have a look at the league table.
“I never doubted that Jordan Henderson could take on the Fabinho role because he’d done it successfully before and he didn’t let anyone down.
“And since then, of course, Jordan has become an absolutely central part of the team – but not irreplaceable. At least, not in terms of his playing ability.
“Where Jordan is missed – and we saw that against West Ham – is in terms of leadership.
“I thought Liverpool were in second gear during the first half against West Ham and Jordan Henderson would not have allowed that to happen.
“Henderson doesn’t always have the best of games and people are always quick to point fingers when that happens, but that’s not appreciating his value.
“When it comes to desire and character that’s when he steps up. And while there are some big characters in that dressing room, no one is bigger than Jordan Henderson.”
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita are not competing against each other in the Liverpool midfield. Read more…