Jamie Carragher believes that defender Dejan Lovren must keep his place in the Liverpool starting XI, despite putting in a string of bad performances at Anfield.
The Croat moved to the five time European Cup winners this summer from Southampton, and was recruited to bring order to a Liverpool defence that conceded 50 Premier League goals last season.
However, the 25-year-old has not yet settled in on Merseyside and put in some dismal displays for the Reds. His place in Brendan Rodgers' line-up is now under threat, especially after how Kolo Toure performed in the 1-0 loss to Real Madrid last week.
But Carragher, who made 737 appearances for Liverpool, feels that Lovren should remain in the Liverpool team and that Rodgers should consider tweaking the style his side play to help the him perform better.
“I thought he was excellent for Southampton last season and that is the reason Liverpool bought him but every manager has a different way of doing things,” the 36-year-old told the Liverpool Echo.
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“Liverpool’s full-backs are more offensive and so are going to leave you more exposed, that could be something to look at because Brendan Rodgers likes his full-backs to get forward.
“Alberto Moreno likes to get forward, Lovren is on that side and at times he does find himself in the left-back position with and without the ball.
“Maybe that is something he has either got to get used to or if he is struggling with that then Liverpool have to curtail it and change the small details of how they set-up slightly because you want to get the best out of him.
“He is proven in the Premier League last season and showed he is a very good centre-back, he showed that a lot, but it is difficult for him at the moment – it is difficult for them all – but they will come through it.”
When Liverpool initially signed Lovren for £20 million, many Kopites questioned the fee paid for his services.
He'd enjoyed a decent campaign at St. Mary's, however, it was just his first season playing in the Premier League and was still relatively unproven in English football.
Since he moved to Anfield, the former Lyon man has been badly out of touch. He lead the Southampton defence last campaign, but is doing quite the opposite on Merseyside.
Lovren was brought in to command the back-four, but he looks nervous when defending, and is prone to far too many mistakes. His positioning is poor, likewise his decision making and his performances are having a negative effect on the players around him.
Recently, it emerged that the Croatian international has made the most mistakes in the top flight, proving how bad his form is this term.
Glimpses of talent
Despite his difficult start, Lovren has shown signs he could become a hit on Merseyside.
He made his club debut against Borrusia Dortmund in a pre-season friendly and his performance was faultless. He commanded the Liverpool defence with authority and looked positive when winning the ball.
There too have been times when he has repeated that fate for the Reds and played well against Hull City in the Premier League and Swansea City in the Capital One Cup, when he grabbed a late winner to send his side into the quarter of the competition.
However, Carragher has admitted that Lovren faces stiff competition at Anfield and if his poor efforts continue, he could find himself out of the Liverpool team.
"Kolo Toure came in and had a really good game at Real Madrid,” the LFC legend added.
“He did really well but at his age now you have got to look at the other three for the future and for right now.
“He was unfortunate not to play against Chelsea but in the long-term you have to look at Sakho, Skrtel and Lovren and they have to be fighting it out between themselves.
“Sakho is out injured but is closing in on fitness and if Liverpool keep conceding goals then you have to look at him.
“But I still think both signings (Sakho and Lovren) probably haven’t shown their true form and whatever we think of them at this time, they are better players than they have shown.
“But if Liverpool are still conceding goals then you have to look at Sakho.”
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