Liverpool legend Phil Thompson has urged Jurgen Klopp to keep faith with much-maligned defender Dejan Lovren and believes the German sold his side's best defender in the summer - Mamadou Sakho.
Lovren was heavily criticised for his dreadful performance in the Reds' 4-1 defeat by Tottenham on Sunday (22 October) and was hooked by Klopp after 31 minutes, with his side already 2-0 down.
The Croatian's display drew fury from large sections of Liverpool supporters, who called for Klopp to banish him from first-team proceedings, but Thompson, who spent 13 years at Anfield, does not think the former Borussia Dortmund boss should freeze Lovren out like he did with Sakho, who left the Reds for Crystal Palace in a deal worth £26m in the summer.
"You can never disregard any player because you never know when you will need him," Thompson told the Liverpool Echo.
"I still believe we sold our best defender in the summer when Mamadou Sakho went to Crystal Palace. He was a warrior and a fighter. People say he looked ungainly but you knew what you got with him.
"I know there were issues off the field with Sakho and the manager took him out of the first team set-up. I was always a disciplinarian. It was one of the reasons why I was brought back into the football club by Gerard Houllier. But three months is plenty to isolate someone."
While Thompson does not think Klopp should isolate Lovren, he does think the Liverpool boss was right to substitute him during the first half of the clash against Spurs.
The former Southampton star was part of Liverpool's first-choice defence along with Joel Matip last term and helped the Anfield outfit achieve Champions League qualification in Klopp's first full season in charge, but Thompson thinks now might be the time to rest Lovren and give young Joe Gomez a sustained run in the heart of Liverpool's defence.
"I would have to take him out of the firing line. After what he went through at Wembley, I think it's too raw at the moment to play him again so soon," Thompson said.
"Jurgen will have to make changes. If he doesn't have faith in Ragnar Klavan then he has to go with Joe Gomez in there alongside Joel Matip.
"We have a run of winnable games coming up and we have to make sure we're more solid at the back."