Liverpool need to sign two centre-backs in the January transfer window, according to former England and Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips. Reports on Monday claimed Liverpool had no plans to bring in mid-season recruits. But Phillips believes recent injuries make it a necessity to add a couple of defenders.
Liverpool are set to be without first-choice duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for the majority of the season.
Van Dijk injured his anterior cruciate knee ligament in October and Gomez suffered a knee problem of his own in England training last week which required surgery.
Fabinho is close to returning from his hamstring injury but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is still set to be stretched in terms of his defensive resources.
Joel Matip has had fitness issues of his own and Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips lack experience at the top level.
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Phillips says Liverpool cannot last the whole season with a makeshift defence and says they should bring in a player on loan if they cannot afford to sign two on permanent deals.
“They may look to sign one permanently and one on loan,” he told Football Insider.
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“Liverpool definitely need to sign one centre-back permanently – 100 per cent.
“You cannot play the whole season with a stand-in centre-half who is a midfield player and a young centre-half as well because they will get tested and make mistakes. One is young and one is out of position.
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“It is critical that Liverpool enter the market in January and I am sure the recruitment department are identifying players and doing their homework.
“They need to get it right because it is a huge area of the pitch to have players missing.
“You win titles on a solid defence and last season it showed. All of a sudden it has been disrupted. It is going to be a big test.
“They need to definitely sign one permanently and then maybe nick one on loan with a view to a permanent next summer.”
However, reports from The Athletic say Liverpool chiefs are not currently planning on making January additions and are instead focusing on who they can sign next summer.
Bayern Munich’s David Alaba, RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly have all been linked with moves to Anfield.
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