Mark Lawrenson has urged Jurgen Klopp to enter the transfer market for a new defender, claiming that the Liverpool boss cannot rely on Joel Matip.
Matip has emerged as the Reds’ only fit senior centre-back, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both out. The latter joined Van Dijk on the sidelines after a knee injury in England training on Wednesday.
As such, Klopp is likely to pair Fabinho – who himself is luckily returning to fitness – alongside Matip. Meanwhile, inexperienced pair Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams are further options.
Klopp could indeed look to find cover in January; TEAMtalk understands that the club are considering a move for a free agent.
In any case, Lawrenson believes the Liverpool boss cannot stick with Matip going forward.
“Joe is a very, very important player. Obviously with Virgil van Dijk out, it would be Joe Gomez and another,” the pundit told talkSPORT.
“The thing with Joe Gomez is he’s had his operation straight away and they’re already saying he’ll miss most of the season, but that sounds to me really that he might just make it back towards the end.
“And Matip is a decent player but he’s like a willow tree; he occasionally gets blown over and he’s not fit for two or three weeks, so he’s another worry.
“Some of the younger players have come in and they’ve done absolutely fine. But I think you’re looking at Matip, if fit, with the likes of Fabinho or maybe even Henderson [playing in defence] at some stage.
“But I would think it will force the manager’s hand in the January transfer window.”
Matip himself does not have the most unblemished injury record at Liverpool. He has also spent time on the sidelines this season, before Gomez and Van Dijk suffered their problems.
Salah tests positive for Covid-19
As well as in defence, Klopp will have to shuffle his front line after the news that Mohamed Salah has tested positive for coronavirus.
The Egypt international will miss next Saturday’s Premier League clash with Leicester, as well as the Champions League meeting with Atalanta at Anfield.
As such, Klopp could keep Diogo Jota in the team after his strong recent form.