Soccer

Liverpool should not panic-buy defender in January, says John Barnes

‘There is no need to harp on about it’: John Barnes tells Liverpool not to let ‘negativity creep into the dressing room’ over injury crisis – and urges against ‘knee-jerk reaction’ of buying Virgil van Dijk replacement in January

  • John Barnes has called for calm regarding Liverpool’s ongoing injury crisis 
  • Both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are out for months with serious issues 
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold also recently picked up a knock during England duty 
  • Barnes says Liverpool mustn’t make a ‘knee-jerk reaction’ in the January window

Liverpool legend John Barnes has called for calm when it comes to the elephant in the room that is his former club’s mounting injury crisis.

In the last month Jurgen Klopp’s side have been dealt an incredibly unfortunate hand, seeing crucial first team stars ruled out of action indefinitely.

Virgil van Dijk’s horror knee injury sustained under the challenge of Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby has recently been compounded by a knee tendon injury picked up by Joe Gomez on international duty.

John Barnes feels Liverpool cannot ‘harp on’ about injuries and must not panic-buy in January

The Reds were dealt a huge blow when Virgil van Dijk had his knee crunched in the derby

Klopp now finds his reigning champions increasingly threadbare in defence, with Joel Matip the only fit senior centre back in the entire squad.

The Merseyside club also find themselves waiting on a health update for star man Trent Alexander-Arnold, who reported a calf strain following Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with rivals Manchester City.

With Nat Phillips and teenager Rhys Williams now expected to carry the burden of pressure in the coming weeks, speculation has started to mount regarding Liverpool’s proposed January transfer window plans.

Many expect the Reds to bring in defensive reinforcement as a matter of urgency, despite initial plans to wait until the summer window to add to the squad.

Already the club have been linked with the likes of RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Schalke’s young prodigy Ozan Kabak. 

Joe Gomez is also set for another spell on the sidelines after injuring his knee with England

Barnes however feels the injury situation needs to be downplayed, to deny ‘negativity’ a chance to permeate into the dressing room.

Speaking this week to Bonuscodebets, the former Liverpool man said: ‘There are a lot of people saying that Liverpool must buy a new centre-back in January, but when you break it down, most players except for Virgil van Dijk will be back before then.

‘There is no need for a knee-jerk reaction, Liverpool have always planned ahead of time, but depending on the situation in January, the transfer window may become significant in terms of Liverpool needing more players due to the current situation.

‘There is no need to harp on about it, we have to deal with it and not let the negativity creep into the dressing room because that is when it can affect our results. 

At present Liverpool have only Joe Matip as a fit senior centre-back and are limited in options

‘When Virgil van Dijk got injured, no one got carried away and we were still winning games and at the right end of the table,’ Barnes added.

Aside from the defence, Liverpool are still without injured midfielder Thiago Alcantara, while captain Jordan Henderson has picked up a suspected groin injury on England duty and could miss Sunday’s Premier League clash with Leicester.

Liverpool remain hopeful that Brazil star Fabinho will return for the clash with the Foxes, while fellow midfielder Naby Keita has now regained fitness. 




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