Shearer pinpoints key change to get ‘belief back’ at Liverpool

Alan Shearer thinks belief will come flooding back into the Liverpool side if they can get Jordan Henderson playing in midfield again.

With centre-backs Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip effectively all ruled out for the rest of the season Jurgen Klopp has been forced to play midfielders Fabinho, almost exclusively, and Henderson, more recently, in defence.

It has had a hugely-significant impact on midfield, where most of Liverpool’s attacking thrust begins, and has contributed to their recent goalscoring problems.

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The arrivals of Ben Davies, from Preston, and Schalke’s Ozan Kabak on loan offers the Reds boss the chance to move one or both players back into their more natural positions.

Their recent injury issues have contributed to their poor form which has seen Liverpool slip to fourth in the Premier League standings and crash out of the FA Cup.

And Shearer reckons the key to returning to their best depends on whether they can get Henderson playing in midfield again.

Shearer told BBC Sport: “What’s gone wrong? Well, of course Liverpool have missed Virgil van Dijk at the back.

“He is one of the best centre-backs in the world, if not the best, and he has been out injured since October.

“But the fact they have been without Joe Gomez and Joel Matip too meant they have had to shift people around to cover and that has cost them all over the pitch, especially with Jordan Henderson dropping out of midfield to fill in at the back.

“I thought their forwards would keep on scoring to keep getting them results regardless but that has not happened.

“Their front three have been struggling for form too.

“Something needs to change for the team to get its belief back, and putting Henderson back in his proper position would definitely help.

“They signed two centre-backs – Preston’s Ben Davies and Schalke’s Ozan Kabak – on deadline day last week.

“So I would suggest putting at least one of them in there as soon as possible so Henderson can return to the centre of midfield. They need him there.”


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