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"Worst business ever" - Paul Merson says Liverpool have made a major mistake

Ben King

| Last updated 

"Worst business ever" - Paul Merson says Liverpool have made a major mistake

Former Arsenal defender Paul Merson has said he believes that the departure of Sadio Mane is the reason for Liverpool’s poor defensive record so far this season.

By their own standards, it has been a pretty dreadful start to the campaign for the Merseyside club.

They find themselves in 9th place in the Premier League after 8 rounds, having only recorded 2 wins in the competition so far.

It has been a particularly grim few months for Liverpool’s defenders, who have come under a lot of criticism from fans and pundits alike, with the harshest words reserved for Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virjil Van Dijk.

It was as recent as last year when these two were being hailed as some of the best players in the world, and their side were also on the verge of a quadruple.

However, some poor defensive performances this season, the most notable being against Napoli and Manchester United, have led to a dramatic change in opinion on their abilities.

Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Merson explained what he believed is the reason behind the Red’s recent defensive woes.

“I've said it from day one, in my opinion, selling Sadio Mane was the worst business ever.” said Merson.

"Their problems at the back start from the front. They're not closing down as a unit - you can go on about how talented that front three was, but they closed down from the front. It only took one more pass, and they'd score."

"Now they don't - so teams get through that press, if there is one, then they're into a midfield three which isn't the best in the country, and then you're running at the back four.” 

“How many players have run at Van Dijk this season, compared to the last three or four years?”

"I'm not a stats person, so I'm just going off the top of my head - but for me, Mane was a big, big player for Liverpool. To sell him for £30m-odd, which in the world of the Premier League is a cup of tea, wouldn't they have been better off to keep him and let him go for free?"

Throughout the campaign, it has looked increasingly like a mistake from Liverpool to sell Mane, especially considering Nunez’ tough start to life at Anfield.

Klopp is in desperate need of the Uruguayan, who was Mane’s replacement, and his defence to step up and find some form, in order to turn around his side’s lacklustre start to the season.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Paul Merson, Liverpool, Sadio Mane

Ben King
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