By 90Min
January 19, 2018

Ex-footballer and Sky pundit Paul Merson has claimed that Liverpool's defensive frailties will prevent the club from competing at the very top level in Europe.

This season manager Jurgen Klopp has rotated Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius in goal for the Reds. However, neither has truly answered the nagging questions over the ability to cut out mistakes.

Since joining Liverpool, Karius - who Klopp revealed will remain his first choice for the rest of the season - has struggled to convince despite being given the nod for Sunday's epic victory over Premier League leaders Manchester City. Mignolet too has often received public criticism for his errors leading to goals.

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Speaking on Sky Sports News, as reported by The Liverpool Echo, Merson said: ''Liverpool can’t win the Champions League in a month of Sundays, they just can’t defend. 

''You go through any champions, World Cup, Premier League, European Championships, European Cups, tell me a team that has won anything without a good, in-form goalkeeper?''

Despite their wealth of attacking firepower, Liverpool have consistently had problems at the back in recent years. The £75m acquisition of Virgil Van Dijk will undoubtedly help; but some fans feel the real problem lies with the goalkeepers.

Against City, Karius was again exposed for making a mistake, being beaten too easily at his near post for Sane's first half leveller - something former Arsenal midfielder Merson also spoke about.

He added: ''Liverpool couldn't have played any better in the first half against Man City, and City couldn't have played any worse, but they're going in at half-time at 1-1. That's all down to the goalkeeper Loris Karius, he should have done much better with Leroy Sane's shot. They're just not good enough.''

Liverpool face Porto in the last 16 of the Champions League and despite there being plenty of reasons for them to be confident of beating the Portuguese side, the likes of Vincent Aboubakar and Yacine Brahimi will pose a stern test for Liverpool's back-line.

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