Former Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy has described Croatia defender Dejan Lovren as the weak link in Liverpool's defence, while suggesting that the centre-back should be left out of the starting lineup when he's back fit.
The Reds have kept two clean sheets in their two opening fixtures of the new Premier League campaign so far and are the only team in the division to do so, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both looking impressive in the centre of the side's defensive line in the two matches.
Lovren, whose solid performances at the back for Croatia during the World Cup prompted him to brand himself "one of the best defenders in the world", hasn't featured in Jurgen Klopp's side as yet due to a stomach problem.
And Bellamy reckons he should remain on the periphery even when fit, given that he's their main vulnerability at the back.
“They were very vulnerable to counter-attacks and with a defender like Lovren he was vulnerable,” the player-turned-pundit told Sky Sports.
“He left me so concerned that when the team won the ball and the opposition was going the other way, he would get exposed. For them to go and win the league I think it was going to be very difficult.
“They’ve shored that up, the defence. Now they have genuine pace.
“They can now defend one v one because, at times, with the way they play with the full-backs going on and the wingers coming inside they’re going to have to be prepared to do that at times.”
While Van Dijk has maintained his remarkable form in the Liverpool backline and has impressed as per usual, Gomez deserves to be singled out for praise and was especially effective against Crystal Palace on Monday night.
The 21-year-old has certainly done his prospects of keeping his starting spot no harm. And it would be disappointing to see him dropped when Lovren returns.