Soccer

Liverpool’s bold stance on January transfer market could come back to bite them

Liverpool are not planning to dip into the January transfer market, despite their current injury crisis in defence.

The Premier League champions could be without first-choice centre-back pairing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for the rest of the season, with both men suffering serious knee injuries over the past month.

Van Dijk damaged his ACL after shipping a heavy challenge from Jordan Pickford in last month’s 2-2 draw away at Everton, while Gomez sustained his own problem on international duty with England last week.

Jurgen Klopp is also without Trent Alexander-Arnold after the right-back suffered a calf injury away at Manchester City last week.

Reports suggest Liverpool chiefs are eyeing up a number of replacements ahead of the January transfer window, including RB Leipzig ace Dayot Upamecano and Schalke star Ozan Kabak.

However, The Athletic claim they have no intention of entering the winter market to strengthen at centre-back or in any other position for that matter.

It is believed the Reds’ current recruitment plans are focused entirely on next summer’s window, when they will not be held to ransom by clubs taking advantage of their desperate situation mid-season.

Joel Matip is Klopp’s only available senior centre-back, meaning youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams will be required to step up should they stick with their plan not to enter the January market.

Fabinho is capable of operating as a makeshift central defender, although the midfielder is yet to fully recover from the hamstring injury he picked up in last month’s win over FC Midtjylland.

Klopp has also hinted at using Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner or Andrew Robertson at centre-back amid his current injury crisis.

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The German told Goal last month: “We have still, obviously, other options like Hendo or Gini or James – or Robbo can play centre-half as well.

“They are all not smaller than [Javier] Mascherano, for example, and he played pretty well in that position.”

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