Former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor believes the absence of Adam Lallana due to a thigh injury is the reason why Jurgen Klopp's side have struggled in September, and claims the England international's return can provide a spark to both the Reds and the Three Lions.

The 29-year-old has not featured for the Merseyside club this season as his last appearance for the Reds was during the pre-season friendly tie against Atletico Madrid.

However, he is nearing a return to the first-team and the former Borussia Dortmund manager is hopeful that the midfielder could be involved in the coming weeks.

Since their 4-0 win over Arsenal at Anfield in August, Liverpool have managed only one win in seven matches played in all competitions. This win came against Leicester City in the Premier League, just days after the Foxes knocked the Reds out of the Carabao Cup.

Mellor believes Liverpool currently lack Lallana's high-pressing game and stressed his return from injury is likely to improve the Anfield outfit.

"It's been a frustrating spell for Liverpool between the two international breaks, from that Arsenal win to the draw at Newcastle. I feel the performances were mostly decent and, in most cases, we didn't get the results the performances deserved," Mellor told the Liverpool Echo.

"You ask yourself why it's not working, why we're not putting those chances away? One factor could be Adam Lallana – he was a big player in terms of starting the press and the pressing certainly hasn't been at the same level as last season.

"You were looking at the players [for England against Slovenia] who weren't playing, the likes of Dele Alli and Adam Lallana, and wondering just how they might improve the team. As for England and the World Cup, I'll support them, of course, but it does feel like it'd need a dramatic change for them to become real contenders," Mellor added.

Jurgen Klopp and Adam Lallana
Adam Lallana is yet to feature in a competitive fixture for Liverpool this season PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images