Jamie Carragher has told Liverpool they are gambling on their Premier League title chances if they don’t sign a new centre-half in January following a fresh injury to Joel Matip.
Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk both face sustained spells on the sidelines with knee injuries. That has left Matip as Liverpool’s only senior recognised centre-half. Midfielder Fabinho has been filling in admirably, the Brazilian coming clean on why that was always his plan.
Jurgen Klopp has been left to call on youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams, with both doing well despite a lack of experience.
However, after watching Matip limp off in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against West Brom, Carragher reckons Liverpool have been left with no choice but to spend.
“It’s a massive worry but it’s not a new worry,” Carragher told Sky Sports.
“Joel Matip will not play every game between now and the end of the season. You know that even before the injury today.
“That’s why it’s paramount that Liverpool sign somebody in January.
“I said that as soon as Virgil van Dijk had his injury against Everton.
“Fabinho has gone there and looked like a top class centre-back in that position, so maybe people at the club felt the need wasn’t as urgent.
“But Joel Matip is just too injury prone. His body just can’t take the rigours of playing Premier League football week in, week out. We know that since he joined. He’s a really good player.”
Carragher warns of Liverpool gamble
Carragher added: “I still believe Liverpool are the best team in the league even without Virgil van Dijk and I think most people would say they were favourites to win the Premier League.
“I think the only way they don’t win it is if they have problems at centre-back, where Rhys Williams or Nat Phillips have to play for a prolonged period of time.
“The odd game coming in now and again, they’ve done really well, they’ve done fantastic. But I know because it’s the position I played, it’s not a position really for young players as such. At times they are going to make mistakes, because they are young players and they’re learning.
“I think that’s the only way that could cost Liverpool.
“And I don’t necessarily mean bring a centre-back in for 70, 80 million like a Van Dijk type of signing. And not necessarily someone to go straight into the team. Just someone there so Liverpool don’t end up maybe with two young lads at some stage for five or six weeks. What if Fabinho was to go down injured too….?
“At this moment, Liverpool Football Club have got one senior centre-back (Matip) who is available this season. And he’s injury prone. So they have to do something in January.”