If there is finally some better long term defensive news for Jurgen Klopp, then it doesn’t disguise his very immediate problem – West Ham ’s aerial threat.
The Liverpool manager has revealed that serious knee injury-victim Joe Gomez could return this season.
He has also given his word to fans that the search for a centre half continues, right up to the transfer deadline on Monday.
Yet even if he lands an unlikely coup this weekend, that doesn’t solve his most pressing worry – how to deal with a crisis that now sees Joel Matip and Fabinho ruled out…and rampaging Hammers ready to provide a bruising physical test to another makeshift defence.
“It is true we need a top class defender for the future – that is how it is,” he said.
“But how we do it is, we find the solutions for now. So it is now a solution (needed) for Sunday for the West Ham game, that is how we see it.
“So sort the problem we have now, that is how we do it usually. And then we will see how it will show up in the future – we have to do what we constantly do, we find solutions.”
The solution for Klopp, is simple. Avoid the clamour for his Champions to prove their quality with ‘perfect’ performances, and instead concentrate on practical solutions.
He knows that West Ham will provide a real threat to his makeshift defence, with midfielder Jordan Henderson filling in, and he said: “To play your best season you need to be lucky with injuries, and we are not lucky in these moments, I think we can all admit that.
“But still everybody expects us to play our best season. That’s ok – but we only have to win football games, find a solution and win football games in any way, and make the season as special as possible, that’s what we try to do.”
Gomez is back in the gym working on his rehab, and Klopp offered some promising news when he said: “Joe Gomez is actually in a pretty good place, but far away from being back.
“So he walks round looks completely normal, is not yet out on the pitch running, or even out of the gym, it was just a really tough injury as well.
“Will he be available this season? When does the season end, May? It will be close at least I would say, but I don’t ‘expect’.”
Fabinho has “no chance” of playing at West Ham, according to Klopp, and is likely to be out for another week, while Matip will miss the weekend, but is waiting for scans to see if he can return in midweek against Brighton.
Will Liverpool win the Premier League? Have your say in the comments below
Sign up for the Mirror Football newsletter here