Jurgen Klopp has got to play Ben Davies before it’s too late. Liverpool suffered yet another setback on Saturday.
Really, Liverpool suffered two setbacks against Everton. They lost their first Anfield derby since 1999 and Jordan Henderson went off injured.
It’s a continuation of Liverpool’s torrid time. They can’t buy a Premier League win and their injury crisis refuses to ease up.
There was another worry against Everton, though – Ozan Kabak was not good. He was awful in the first half and while things marginally improved for the second 45, they didn’t improve by much.
He was quick to foul and consistently misjudged the flight of the ball. Some will point to the wind as a factor for the latter and they’re right, it made things tough.
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But it doesn’t change the fact that Kabak was the only player who consistently had a problem with it.
Now, Kabak is still only 20 and needs more time. Liverpool don’t really have that time, though. They signed Kabak in January to fix their defensive issues over the next four months.
Henderson’s injury increases the pressure on Kabak, too. Well, Kabak and whoever his partner will be.
That was Nat Phillips on Saturday after the captain went off. They didn’t look comfortable together, however.
But Liverpool may have a better answer to their problem.
We think Jurgen Klopp has to play Ben Davies. Possibly as soon Liverpool’s next fixture.
Kabak’s poor performance tells us two things. Firstly, that he’s capable of playing terribly. Secondly, that he will likely need time to fit in.
There is a chance, then, that Kabak simply doesn’t fit in. Liverpool may need to move on from him before the season is out – and at a very important time.
It’s harsh but that’s the reality. Liverpool signed him and Davies to cover them this season. If Kabak can’t do that, he can’t be a first-choice defender.
Thus Klopp must put Davies in now. Not only may he be like a duck to water but Liverpool have to make sure he’s ready to go if Kabak needs dropping.
They can’t have a situation where Klopp has persisted with Kabak for months, drops him, and then needs to wait for Davies to get up to speed. That would be a disaster.
The 20-year-old is busy proving that players need that time, too. Throw Davies in now then and get him some experience in the system and under the pressure Liverpool put on a player.
Start that process now and if Klopp must play Davies late on, he’ll be far more ready.
Davies is a player Klopp believes looks ‘football smart’. Take advantage of that and start the learning process now.