Georginio Wijnaldum thinks the sale of midfielder N'Golo Kante has been a key factor in Leicester City's fall from Premier League champions to battling against the drop.
Kante was the only Leicester star to leave after their unlikely title triumph, joining Chelsea and helping his new club to establish an eight-point lead at the top of the table, while his former team are a single place above the relegation zone.
Wijnaldum's Liverpool host Leicester on Monday in the first game since the sacking of manager Claudio Ranieri and the Netherlands international highlighted Kante's sale as a catalyst for their downfall.
"Of course they have a bad run this season, they are not doing that well compared to last season," Wijnaldum told Sky Sports. "But I think they are still a good team, almost all the players stayed.
"Kante is a big miss for them, because he was a really important player in the midfield, and he keeps everything together and he was one of the main reasons they were champions last season. And because he left, it makes it way more difficult for everyone in the team.
"But I think they still have a good team and it is still difficult to beat them. You could see that when they played Manchester City, they had a good game, so they can also win against big teams. In the Premier League, almost everyone is difficult to beat, it depends on how you begin a game and how you play in the game.
"Now they are at the bottom of the league, but everyone knows they can do better than what they show right now. They showed it last season, so it is difficult to say where they really stand.
"One thing is for sure, they are a good team and a difficult team to beat and that is something we must keep in mind. We cannot win this game on 90 per cent, we have to give 100 per cent to win this game."