​Former Liverpool defender and pundit Mark Lawrenson has claimed it's a "blessing in disguise" that centre-back Dejan Lovren is out injured. 

The 26-year-old has failed to win over the Anfield faithful since making a £20m move from Southampton last year.

It's looking less likely the Croatian will gain any further support this term either, after a shocking display in the Capital One Cup penalties-win over Carlisle.

The ex-Saints man picked up an injury in that game and was subbed off at half time. It's likely he'll be out of action for a number of weeks. 

But it's not all bad, according to Lawrenson who believes it's actually for the best and could prove a blessing in disguise with a tough run of fixtures ahead for the Merseysiders. 

Liverpool v Carlisle United - Capital One Cup Third Round

He told the Liverpool Echo: "He had a spell of two or three good games at the start of this season and you thought 'you know what, maybe he's going to be fine'.

"Wrong. His decision-making is absolutely awful. Awful.What on earth was he thinking for the goal Carlisle scored in midweek?

"He should have gone and closed the ball down, not least as there were two other centre-backs to cover."

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"Instead he came rushing out. It's like he had never, ever defended before in his life, let alone been a £20m international centre-back.

"But the timing of Lovren's absence could be a blessing in disguise for both player and team.

"It's now a big chance for Mamadou Sakho to stake a regular claim and maybe even for Joe Gomez to, at some stage, impress in his favoured position."

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