Jurgen Klopp has been urged to drop defender Joe Gomez for the Merseyside derby with Everton following his disappointing display against Aston Villa.
The 23-year-old endured a torrid afternoon at Villa Park in Liverpool’s last Premier League outing as they fell to a damaging 7-2 defeat.
Gomez struggled to deal with Villa striker Ollie Watkins – who scored a hat-trick – before the Reds’ centre-back was eventually substituted by boss Jurgen Klopp just after the hour.
Now former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes Klopp should wield the axe for the clash with Everton and leave Gomez out of his starting lineup on Saturday.
“We cannot gloss over the defeat at Villa of course,” Murphy told The Mail . “Joe Gomez, in particular, has struggled in the heart of the defence this season. He does not look as confident, or even fit, compared to his prime and the manager faces a big decision whether to take him out of the firing line.
“It is always a tricky call. Some players benefit from having a breather, gather their thoughts and come back stronger. I always liked to have that final chance if I was out of form and invariably put in a better performance. For me, rising to the challenge helped, whereas being dropped might have knocked my confidence.”
While the usually dependable Gomez did not enjoy his best performance in a Liverpool shirt against Villa, he was one of the standout players in their win against Arsenal the game prior.
He has found his position under threat more recently though from Brazilian teammate Fabinho after his impressive showing in the meeting with Chelsea.
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The arrival of Thiago Alcantara has given Klopp a selection headache when all his players are fit, and Murphy feels pushing Fabinho back into defence for the derby is the ideal solution.