Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit has argued that five Liverpool players are “not at the right level” amid their difficult start to the new season.
Liverpool challenged for an unprecedented Quadruple last season but they have not been their usual selves at the start of this term.
They suffered another setback on Saturday as they were held by Brighton in a 3-3 draw at Anfield.
Brighton deservedly found themselves 2-0 up inside 20 minutes. Liverpool fought back to lead 3-2 but the visitors equalised late on to leave Jurgen Klopp’s side ninth in the Premier League.
The Reds have only won two of their opening seven games in the league and they are already eleven points adrift of league leaders Arsenal.
Liverpool have played a game less than the Gunners, but they are seven points behind Man City having played the same amount of times.
Speaking after the Brighton draw, Petit argued that Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Thiago, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson are all underperforming:
“They took the Reds by the neck and I think Liverpool were very sloppy in the first 25 minutes, they made so many mistakes defensively and Brighton used it,” Petit told Premier League Productions.
“They (Brighton) played brilliantly and they deserved their point. To be frank, I think they deserved more from that.
“If you take away Firmino, who scored two goals and saved the afternoon for Liverpool, the best player after him was Alisson.
“That tells you a lot about how difficult it was for the Reds this afternoon.”
Petit continued: “I think there are top players at Liverpool that are not at the right level that they should be; Van Dijk and Salah, as well.
“Then in the midfield as well – Henderson, Fabinho and Thiago – they are used to controlling the game and the tempo all of the time, and we didn’t see that today.”
Ex-Premier League striker Noel Whelan has also suggested that Klopp does not “trust” Darwin Nunez.
The forward joined Liverpool in the summer from Benfica but he is yet to find his feet in the Premier League.
Nunez only made a late cameo appearance against Brighton and Whelan thinks this “says a lot”:
“It says a lot that Nunez did not come on until the final minute,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“If Klopp trusted him and thought he could score the winner, he would have brought him on earlier.
“He obviously thought he had better options, and that’s not a surprise given Jota’s scoring record, really.
“Nunez is still finding his way in English football and that red card and suspension really set him back. It will be in the back of the manager’s mind and it will take some time for him to get the trust of Klopp. He was obviously raging over that.
“Nunez is the record signing and will need time to adapt. But it could be some time before he is a regular starter.”