Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has suggested Dejan Lovren's omission for the 4-1 defeat to Arsenal was motivated by a lack of confidence in the Croatia international.
Kolo Toure deputised for the suspended Martin Skrtel against his former club but produced an uneven display as goals from Hector Bellerin, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud all but extinguished the Reds' top-four ambitions.
An abdominal strain meant Lovren was forced to sit out the international break but he was surprisingly only named on the bench upon the resumption of Liverpool's domestic campaign, a selection decision that was seen as a main factor behind Arsenal's emphatic win.
Lovren was one of nine additions made by Liverpool during the summer transfer window but he has failed to adapt to the demands of playing for the Merseyside club, despite having represented Southampton with distinction the previous campaign.
And when explaining his reasoning for leaving out Lovren at the Emirates Stadium, Rodgers hinted he does not have the same confidence in the 25-year-old as he does in Toure.
"The thing with Kolo is he gives me everything every single day so I know what I am going to get with him," the Liverpool boss said. "Dejan was obviously out over the international break but now he is fighting well and looking strong. He will be in contention for the cup game for sure."
Rodgers added on the club's transfer business: "You bring players in with all the intentions of them doing well. What you cannot vouch for is when they come into a club of this size how long that adaptation process is going to take. You've seen that over many years at this club.
"You can be a very good player and not hit it off for some reason or it just takes time, like Lucas Leiva. It didn't quite happen for him early on in his Liverpool career but he ended up doing well and the supporters appreciate the role he plays.
"It's just unfortunate because these players need time and you don't get that in modern football. We had a big influx of players coming in last summer so it was always going to be difficult for them all to hit it off straight away but I think you can see the progress that has been made. It just takes a bit of time."