Liverpool conceded 50 goals in 38 league matches last season. Considering the fact that Liverpool could manage only 63 goals, conceding 50 is very bad. Liverpool have had defensive problems for 2 seasons on the row now. The defense hardly got any protection from the central midfield and that has caused a lot of trouble. Steven Gerrard, under Rodgers, had adopted the role of a deep lying defensive midfielder, who plays in front of the 2 centre halves but then people always remember his famous slip against Chelsea, which according to many cost us the title. Now Liverpool need a defensive midfielder this summer.
People always think of a defensive midfielder as someone who breaks up the play and passes the ball to the best player of the team. But there is more to the position than what is assumed. A defensive midfielder sits back and dictates the possession. He breaks the play and steals possession from the opposition. A defensive midfielder’s priority is helping his centre halves out of trouble. He tracks the runs of the opposition attackers and intercept passes.
A defensive midfielder also sets up attacks with some important passes to the creative attacking midfielders. The best example of such a defensive midfielder is Andrea Pirlo. Pirlo is still considered as one of the best deep lying playmakers in the sport. His through balls and some important passes set up the attacks for the team. He could also read the game well and knows when to drop off and when to step up the pace. A defensive midfielder is very important to any team which plays full throttle attacking football. And Liverpool are no exception.
Liverpool, under Jurgen Klopp, play a very high pressing game and that can leave gaps in the centre of the pitch. These gaps can easily be exploited by opposition players. A defensive midfielder can always manage these gaps and provide stability to the squad. Liverpool currently have Emre Can in the central midfield. He needs a good partner to help him in that region of the pitch. Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen are the options that Klopp has at his disposal at the moment, but their futures at Liverpool are uncertain.