Liverpool’s weakness is not necessarily in defence, but in their lack of a “specialist, top-class defensive midfield player”.
The Reds face Brighton on Saturday, hoping to keep in touch with the chasing pack at the top of the Premier League table.
Their victory over Stoke lifted them into fifth in midweek, two points behind Arsenal, three off the pace of Chelsea, and six behind Manchester United.
Their defensive record has been questioned, with only Watford and Leicester in the top half conceding more league goals so far, but Brighton defender Rosenior has diagnosed their problem.
‘We face Liverpool on Saturday and I’ve seen them play exciting, attacking and breathless football this season but there has always been an air of vulnerability in their defence with numerous individual defensive players being singled out and criticised for poor performance in the media,’ Rosenior wrote in his column for The Guardian.
‘I would instead point to the fact that these players always seem to be defending in isolation, without protection from a specialist, top-class defensive midfield player who stops counterattacks and in turn protects them from in front of the back four.
‘Players such as Jordan Henderson, Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum are outstanding midfielders in their own right but none are what you would call a natural anchorman who is happy to forgo the attacking, creative side of their game to sit in front of their defensive line and give balance to protect them from counterattack.
‘In the current transfer market, where the value of players is more inflated than ever, we all want that 20-goal-a-season striker, a winger or attacking midfielder who guarantees 15 assists a year or a goalkeeper who keeps 20 clean sheets.
‘However, those unselfish, tactically adept, positional midfielders whose effect on a game cannot be quantified yet are sometimes unnoticed are worth their weight in gold.’