Injuries give Joe Allen and Dejan Lovren an opportunity at Liverpool

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Nobody said it was going to be easy for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

He admitted when he took charge that he could not wave his wand and make miracles happen overnight.

However, things could have been a lot simpler for him during his time in the Anfield hot seat.


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Injury Problems

When he first took charge, Klopp already had an unhealthy injury list and instead of the numbers in the sickroom decreasing, they have instead saturated at an alarmingly worrying rate.

James Milner missed Sunday's 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace and it remains unclear if he will travel to Manchester City after the international break.

Klopp will be displeased with his current situation as he is already without Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings, amongst others.

However, it gives fringe players possibly one final opportunity to prove themselves to their manager.

Joe Allen

The middle of the park - if Milner is deemed unfit to face his former side - looks distinctly lacking in firepower. Klopp will have regulars Emre Can and Lucas at his deployment, but there will be a real shortage of presence in the centre of the pitch.

Joe Allen seems the likely replacement given the limited resources, and Klopp will have to use all of his man-management qualities to get the very best out of the Welshman.

It's no secret that Allen has flattered to deceive since his £15 million move from Swansea City in 2012 and could well be shown the door in January if there is not a significant improvement.

Being dubbed "the Welsh Xavi" by Brendan Rodgers was always going to be an unwanted nickname that will stick with Allen for the rest of his playing days and beyond.

"Joe is a player whose profile will fit perfectly with the ideas of this group," Rodgers said on Allen's arrival.

"His ability to control and dominate the ball is an important ingredient in our attempt to gain success on the field."

Nonetheless, he's failed to build momentum at Anfield. He was given numerous chances when Rodgers was at the helm but every time, Allen could not meet the requirements necessary.

Instead of dominating the ball, he's instead looked a lost sheep in the midfield for the most part. He does not take the required risks nor any responsibility, and instead keeps it simple, often passing from side-to-side.

He had a fresh opportunity to impress Klopp but, like previously, has not grabbed the chance with both hands.

He was substituted at half-time at home against Rubin Kazan, contributing little throughout and got himself needlessly booked.

Allen was the most senior player in the centre of midfield to face Bournemouth in the League Cup and should have been delegating orders to his teammates alongside him.

Instead, it was Cameron Brannagan - making just his second start for Liverpool - who acted like the veteran and Allen took his usual role behind the scenes.

Dejan Lovren

Mamadou Sakho has thrived since Klopp took charge and bolstered himself to become arguably one of the Premier League's best defenders.

He's added much-needed leadership and decisiveness that was lacking under Rodgers and the Frenchman's performances in recent weeks have been admirable.

However, Sakho limped off in Sunday's 2-1 loss against Crystal Palace and is set to face two months on the sidelines.

The natural replacement for the ex-Paris Saint-Germain defender is Dejan Lovren who, much like Allen, hasn't impressed at Anfield.

Lovren was purchased for £20 million from Southampton in 2014 and was supposed to be Jamie Carragher's successor.

Following the almost title winning campaign in 2014, Rodgers looked to significantly improve his back four that conceded 50 goals, and Lovren was meant to be the answer.

“He is exactly what I’ve been looking for since Jamie Carragher left," Rodgers said on Lovren.

“He is a dominant, centre-half, who reads the game well, offers good guidance to the back four and the rest of the team."

However, it's been a contrasting story and the Croatia international's Anfield fairytale has, in fact, been a living nightmare.

He recorded six defensive errors last term, more than any other defender in the Premier League and looks far from the player he was at Southampton.

He was in and out of the team and recorded just 22 starts in the league, even Can was favoured at the back instead at the back end of the season.

He was given a fresh opportunity at the start of this campaign when Rodgers opted to start him alongside Martin Skrtel as opposed to Sakho.

Again he struggled to put it all together and soon found himself out of the firing line.

Lovren replaced Sakho against Palace but looked tentative and nervous to make decisions. His lack of coherence had an effect on the players around him, causing disruption to a defence that conceded just three goals in six matches prior.

His form is a far cry from when he was so impressive at Southampton during the 2013/14 season where he oozed confidence and gave every attacker a tough time.

With January looming, there could be the temptation of selling Lovren to boost the war chest for new recruits and maybe even sign a different centre-half.

However, if he displays a similar standard to that he produced at St. Mary's, a fully fit, returning Sakho could find it difficult to win his place back.

New Confidence

Klopp has inflicted a new lease of life into several players at Liverpool already. Jordon Ibe is playing with plenty of confidence and Alberto Moreno also looks to be fulfilling the potential he showed at Sevilla.

Both struggled to maintain a regular place under Rodgers and spent much of their time on the bench this season whilst the Northern Irishman was in charge.

Ibe and Moreno have thrust themselves back into the spotlight. Allen and Lovren have a similar opportunity.

Who do you think Liverpool should buy and sell in January? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!

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