Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he has toyed with the idea of using Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson as emergency centre-backs this season.
The Liverpool manager, though, says moving either of his influential full-backs would be too much of a compromise given what they offer to the team in their natural positions,null
The Reds have suffered with issues at centre-back all season having seen Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and then Joel Matip all succumb to injuries that are likely to have ended their respective seasons.
Klopp has been made to use as many as 18 different centre-back partnerships as a result and could line up against Sheffield United on Sunday with a 19th if Ben Davies makes his Liverpool debut.
The Reds boss admits he has thought about utilising one of Alexander-Arnold or Robertson in the centre, but said such a change would adversely affect the team in other areas.
Instead, Klopp has regularly used midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho as replacements for specialist centre-halves.
The thing is that losing the centre-halves that you usually play with changes the complete structure of the game.
“It changes everything. It changes the build up, the formation, how to protect the team, everything.
“So you have to build a team in this position for how you can defend and that changes on who you have to play there.
“That is one thing we have had to change constantly. The other thing that is pretty stable for us is how our full-backs play and perform.
“So changing that too changes the structure of how you perform on the wings too, so that is a double change.
“That is probably the reason why we haven’t done it.”
On Sunday’s visit to the rock-bottom Blades, Klopp added: “The games we’ve analysed for Sheffield United and the run they have had in the last seven or eight games was much better than before and of course they have had some results as well.
“But I saw the games of Sheffield United and they are unlucky in some moments and aren’t using their own chances.
“That was for sure a bad situation for Sheffield United and it is a similar situation to us if you want.
“They are not there because they are not completely under-performing like we are not.
“But in the decisive moments they haven’t done enough right to not be in this situation and that is what we have to change, both of us.”