Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren doesn't stand a chance of breaking back into the club's first team due to the recent form of England international Joe Gomez.
The Croatia international is yet to make an appearance this season because of injury, offering youngster Gomez the chance to join Virgil van Dijk in the heart of the defence and form a solid partnership for the Reds - something which has received plaudits from across the country.
Speaking during the coverage of Liverpool's Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain, Ferdinand kept it short and sweet when claiming Lovren will be forced to stay on the bench if Gomez and van Dijk remain injury free.
"Lovren’s not playing again in this team when they’re both fit,” Ferdinand said, quoted by the Express.
Ferdinand was joined on the panel by a former rival, and ex-Liverpool full back, John Arne Riise. Although the Norweigan shared his fellow pundit's sentiment, the 37-year-old was much more cautious in his analysis of Lovren's future at Anfield.
"When Gomez was injured, Lovren came in and played really well again,” Riise added. "I think Lovren’s going to struggle to get back into the team now because I think Jürgen Klopp sees Gomez as long-term.
"Him and Van Dijk together is the perfect match. I think Lovren is going to struggle for me.”
However, substitute Roberto Firmino popped up with a goal worthy of winning any match in extra time, ensuring that Liverpool kicked off their Champions League as the only side in Group C to claim all three points.