Liverpool have been urged by Jamie Carragher to enter the January transfer market in order to strengthen their defensive options following the injury sustained by Virgil van Dijk – a development that he believes is set to “blow the title race wide open”.
The reigning Premier League champions confirmed the news yesterday (October 18) that their defensive talisman had suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury during Saturday’s Merseyside derby draw against Everton and would require surgery.
Van Dijk, a colossal and almost ever-present figure for Liverpool over the last two-and-a-half years, is now set to miss a considerable proportion of the club’s title defence after being hurt following a wild first-half challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford at Goodison Park that went unpunished.
Such a blow leaves the likes of the fit-again Joel Matip and England’s Joe Gomez as Jurgen Klopp’s only available senior options at centre-back, while midfielder Fabinho has also been deployed in that position in the recent past.
Reds legend Carragher evidently believes that is not sufficient cover with Liverpool now very vulnerable to their rivals and in need of taking immediate action when the transfer window re-opens in January.
“I think Liverpool certainly have to go into the market in January, and not just because of Van Dijk’s injury, but Liverpool were weak in that area anyway,” he told Sky Sports.
“They lost (Dejan) Lovren before the start of the season now the other players in those positions are very injury prone.
“Yes, devastating news for Virgil van Dijk – we pass on our wishes and I’m sure everyone does around football – but I think for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp and the club now, right away it’s who can they get in?
“I know the transfer window has just finished but they have to be ready on January 1 to bring someone in because they are really weak in that area and that could stop them going on to try to achieve what they want to achieve.”