Now is the time for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to play his two new centre-backs and push his best midfielders back up the pitch, according to one pundit.
Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have played at centre-half for some time now, covering for long-term injuries to Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
However, Klopp used the final days of the January transfer window to bring in two new recruits. Indeed, Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies have yet to earn first-team action as they settle in on Merseyside.
But Liverpool’s form worsened on Sunday with the 4-1 defeat to Manchester City. The result put the Premier League leaders 10 points clear of the Reds with a game in hand – and Klopp’s title hopes in tatters.
Therefore, ex-Red Mark Lawrenson feels that there is no better time to freshen up his team with the new players.
“The thing with Liverpool is, and it’s a good thing in many ways as now they can just forget about ambitions of winning the league and start playing again,” the pundit told Off the Ball.
“The other day somebody said look that they had to cover for Van Dijk and Gomez etc, but now the time is basically that he is got to pick his best midfield.
“We know what the front three would generally be and say, that right boys let’s just go out, let’s get back to the good old days of pressing etc and let’s spend most of the match in the opposition’s half and therefore making chances and scoring goals.
“Just give a young kid a run and the new boy they signed from Schalke, [Ozan] Kabak, and what’s the worst thing that can happen?”
Aside from the defeat to City, Liverpool’s defensive record has generally been stable despite their lack of defenders.
It is up front where they have suffered. Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have particularly struggled to receive and put away chances against teams playing low blocks.
Lawrenson urges Klopp, Liverpool reshuffle
“They are not winning games. I don’t know what the record is in the last ten, but it is really poor,” Lawrenson added.
“Go back to making your strength a strength again, take Fabinho and Henderson out and put them in midfield.
“And just start winning football matches.”
Liverpool return to action on Saturday against Leicester, a team who have played to the Reds’ strengths in recent seasons.
Liverpool have scored 12 goals in their past five matches against the Foxes, including four at the King Power Stadium last term.