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Liverpool are not yet title contenders

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Liverpool's 2-0 loss to Arsenal at the weekend really signified the one key area they are lacking in.

They have arguably the best strikeforce in the league, with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturiddge leading the line, scoring 14 league goals between them this season.

They also have a world-class goalkeeper in Simon Minolet, who has been outstanding thus far this campaign.

Where Liverpool are really struggling is in the centre of midfield.

The fact of the matter is, they cannot rely on captain Steven Gerrard as much as they have previously. Gerrard is approaching 34 and the Arsenal game highlighted that. He was off the pace against a quick, fast side both on and off the ball.

Don't get me wrong, Gerrard still is up there with the best in the league, but even himself knows he's not the same player he used to be. Four years ago, Gerrard would have been up and down the pitch, winning the ball from his penalty box and sprinting up to join in with the attack.

This is just no longer possible anymore.

Liverpool are seriously lacking a box-to-box midfielder.

Jordan Henderson was brought in two seasons ago from Sunderland and was saw to possibly be a replacement to the succeed Gerrard.

However, although he is only 23, he hasn't lived up to the £18m price tag.

Although he has improved this season, Henderson still looks out of his depth, especially in the big games.

It is not the first time on Saturday that Henderson has went missing in a game. There are time where I'm watching and haven't heard or saw Henderson for a good while.

The England international had a chance early on, but he lacked confidence to take it on himself.

That's what Steven Gerrard has never missed.

Lucas too, is not good enough if Liverpool want to challenge for the title.

It was highlighted after the game that Mikael Arteta, who is not a defensive midfielder, done exactly what Lucas should have.

He broke up the play excellently, and used the ball efficiently when he won it, completing 100 out of 106 passes. And his break up play and his charge forward lead to the first goal. 

I was wary on how Arsenal would cope without Flamini, however Arteta done exactly what the Frenchman does.

Lucas was awful against Arsenal. Again, he's improved at his time at Anfield, but he is trying to fill the boots of Javier Mascherano.

The Brazilian seriously lacks pace and doesn't do much when he has the ball. He gained himself five yellow cards in Liverpool first six games. As a defensive midfielder, you do pick up yellow cards, but that is far too many.

I would like to see Gerrard take over Lucas' role playing just in front of the back four. He is good enough to win the ball and start break aways.

Although the captain has lost some of his pace, he still has more than Lucas.

It's unlucky that Liverpool didn't sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar Donesk in the summer. He's an up-and-down midfielder who would have slotted in to the Reds.

Brendan Rodgers favours three in centre midfield. With Gerrard sitting and Phillippe Coutinho having the freedom to go forward, Liverpool need a balance to partner them.

A perfect but unlikely signing would be Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa. He's unhappy at Old Trafford and out of favour but David Moyes would not sell him to ther rivals.

Xabi Alonso is it too out if contract at the end of the season. With a bid in January, it could be enough for Real Madrid to allow the Spanish international to leave.

I know he's not an up-and-down midfielder, but he'll add a lot more than what Henderson offers. He can pick a pass and feed the ball to either Coutinho or the men up top.

When the January transfer window opens, whoever it is needs to be an engine in the heart of midfield.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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