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3 tough questions for 3 Liverpool players after Leicester defeat

Few Liverpool players shone against Leicester. The Reds crashed to a third consecutive defeat, with at least two goals in the 3-1 loss their own fault.

But three players come out of it with real questions hanging over their head.

Ozan Kabak

Is he ready?

This was Kabak’s debut, thus there isn’t any serious questioning of his ability. Instead, it’s whether he’s ready or not.

In all liklihood, the answer is ‘no’. Kabak is only 20 and transitioning from the worst team in the Bundesliga. That means games set themselves up in completely different ways.

And, of course, he’s only been here for 12 days.

The second goal was Alisson’s fault but Kabak’s slight hesitation convinced the goalkeeper to do something. They’re just not used to one another. For the third goal, too, Kabak was out of position.

So will Klopp throw him in against RB Leipzig? It’s clearly a risk. He doesn’t look completely ready but it’s whether he’s ready enough to play in games like this.

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Thiago

Does he fit in?

Jamie Carragher labelled Thiago a ‘defensive liability’ after this game. It’s harsh but arguably fair.

Thiago wasn’t sure where to be half the time and failed to keep the midfield solid. 20-year-old Curtis Jones was better in that regard.

Perhaps, then, we should ask the same question of Thiago that we did Kabak – is he ready?

He’s under 10 starts into his Anfield career, after all. In a disjointed midfield, that creates an awkward situation. Liverpool need his experience but not his style.

Tellingly, Klopp didn’t start Thiago against Leicester. The Spaniard came on as a first-half substitute for James Milner.

It suggests that Klopp isn’t quite sure about Thiago right now. With the team in desperate need of solidity, he’s likely not the answer.

Jordan Henderson

Where should he play?

There is no question of whether Henderson should play – it’s all about where. Of all Liverpool players, he was the best against Leicester despite playing in defence.

In fact, he’s been Liverpool’s best defender for a few weeks now.

But they desperately need him back in midfield. The third goal was an example of that.

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Liverpool’s midfield didn’t compact the space inbetween the defence and attack. So when the forwards lost the ball, Leicester had space to drive into and find a pass. They did that and kill the Reds off.

That does not happen with Henderson there. He shuts that space down and keeps his midfield partners with him.

One stat sums it all up, though. Henderson is the only unbeaten Liverpool midfielder. When he starts there, the Reds simply haven’t lost.

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