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Gary Neville on Thiago Alcantara and how Klopp can protect his defence

Gary Neville has told Sky Sports’ The Gary Neville Podcast that Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara isn’t ‘disciplined’ enough in midfield as the Reds surrendered further ground in their bid for a top-four finish.

Liverpool lost their fourth consecutive Premier League encounter at the weekend following the 2-0 defeat against Everton. Goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson saw the Toffees win their first match at Anfield since the turn of the millennium – back in 1999.

Admittedly, Jurgen Klopp’s English champions have suffered heavily as a result of injuries this season. Liverpool lost their club-captain, after all, inside 30 minutes on Saturday against Everton.

Still, despite the number of mitigating circumstances currently against Liverpool this season, Neville feels that the manager could have done more to protect his players amid the ongoing injury crisis.

Neville on Liverpool and Thiago

He specifically highlighted the role of Thiago, who is still yet to win at Anfield since completing a £20 million [BBC] from Bayern Munich last summer.

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“At the moment it’s desperate for them [Liverpool]. Protect them [Henderson and Fabinho]. They’re still pushing up really high – maybe drop off deep for a game, try something different.

“I know it’s not the DNA of what Jurgen Klopp is or what this Liverpool team is. But at the moment, surely if you’ve got two central midfielders at centre-back or if you’ve got two untried players at centre-back, you’ve got to protect them.

“Then you’ve got the likes of Shaqiri in midfield, we know Thiago obviously he tackles, but he’s not as disciplined defensively. So when you see those types of players in midfield, you certainly aren’t giving them the best protection possible.

“I would say in this moment in time just to try something different. They’re going to have to or they’ll end up having a real bad drop-off.

“A real bad drop-off would be going from Champions League final, Champions League success, winning the title and then going to fifth or sixth – they can’t afford to do that.

“They still need to get into the Champions League. Liverpool will need that financial might of the Champions League next season. So, they have to win it or finish in the top-four.”

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What RTK has to say – Davies could be a solution

Neville is spot-on – yes, you heard that right. Klopp has got to play Ben Davies before it’s too late.

Henderson’s injuries have increased the pressure on Ozan Kabak to perform, having endured a difficult evening in the defeat to Everton.

The 20-year-old’s performance told us that he’ll need time to settle in – a luxury that unfortunately isn’t afforded to him during this period of time.

This increases the need for Klopp to test Davies, as he needs all of his available centre-backs up to speed as quickly as possible.

The quicker you integrate him into the team, the faster you’ll have three ready-made options to cover at the back.

This in effect, will enable Fabinho to once again be utilised in midfield upon his return from injury.

Liverpool signed Davies for a reason, it’s time Klopp took that initial leap of faith on the 25-year-old from Preston North End.

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