Virgil van Dijk’s long-term damage has given Jurgen Klopp a lot to ponder in terms of his choices at centre-back over the coming several weeks. News that Joel Matip had been sent for a scan after the Merseyside derby will have added to any worries the Liverpool boss has.
Matip and Joe Gomez are set to be Liverpool’s first-choice pairing while Van Dijk recovers from knee surgery, but Dejan Lovren’s departure in the summer leaves the particular club short on experienced options.
Fabinho is likely to be utilized as another option, having successfully lowered from midfield to play centre-back upon occasions last season and in the particular win over Chelsea this term, whilst skipper Jordan Henderson was used in the role in the semi-finals from the Club World Cup.
But with Leading League and Champions League video games coming thick and fast on the next month or so in this condensed time of year, Klopp may also need to dip in to Liverpool’s academy to bolster their backline.
Here, all of us look at some of the standout young defenders in Liverpool’s ranks…
If Liverpool are to appear to their youth ranks for protect at centre-back, it seems Rhys Williams is likely to be the first player Klopp would certainly turn to. The 19-year-old made their Liverpool debut in September, beginning alongside Van Dijk and then becoming partnered with Fabinho in the 2nd half, as the Reds beat Lincoln subsequently 7-2 in the Carabao Cup, plus played again in the defeat in order to Arsenal in the next round.
Part of Liverpool’s 2019 FA Youngsters Cup-winning side, Williams signed the five-year contract earlier in 2020, underlining the club’s belief in the potential.
Williams — who has confessed to studying Vehicle Dijk’s performances and post-match evaluation of the Dutchman’s displays – a new loan spell in Non-League final season with Kidderminster Harriers plus made his England U21 first appearance this month.
Sepp van den Berg
Netherlands youth international Sepp van den Berg could also be within contention. He made four first-team appearances for Liverpool last time of year in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup and travelled with the group to the Club World Cup.
However , the 18-year-old : who had also attracted curiosity from Bayern Munich when he or she signed for Liverpool in 06 2019 – may now be at the rear of Rhys Williams in the pecking purchase after missing out on a Carabao Glass runout this season.
Vehicle den Berg already has some top-flight experience under his belt, getting made 22 Eredivisie appearances along with former side PEC Zwolle. “I am calm with the ball, We are quite quick and can run, inch he said on his arrival from Liverpool, who insisted at the time he or she was not an ‘academy’ signing yet a player they were looking to develop for your first team.
Nat Phillips looked like he could end up being on his way to the Championship a week ago – and now he’s among the gamers trying to put themselves in position for any first-team role at Liverpool.
Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest plus Swansea were among the second-tier edges weighing up a move for that 23-year-old but ultimately he continued to be at Anfield to provide extra protect at centre-back.
Phillips had two loan spells with Stuttgart last season, where he produced 19 starts in Bundesliga II, and in between he was remembered by Klopp in December when Fran Matip, Dejan Lovren and Fabinho were all out injured at the same time.
Klopp said he had already been impressed by Phillips’ performances in Indonesia and he went on to start the FA cup win over Everton in The month of january before returning to Stuttgart for the rest of the season.
At just 17 years old, Billy Koumetio is the youngest player listed here : but the Frenchman is highly rated from Liverpool.
He agreed upon his first professional contract within August and went on to make an impression on Klopp and his team-mates during pre-season. However , a tough afternoon in a pleasant at Blackpool may suggest it really is too soon for him to take on the fold.
Koumetio was dispossessed for Blackpool’s very first goal and played an opponent onside in the build-up to them successful a penalty for their second before he or she was replaced at half-time. Gatwick bounced back to win 7-2 plus afterwards Klopp conceded the opponent still had things to learn — but backed him to improve.
“I’m pretty sure he will create big steps, ” said Klopp this summer. “We just have to make sure that we deal with his age group and actual demands well. ” But for a good ill-timed injury he may well possess figured in the Carabao Cup this year. For now though, he is still to help make his competitive first-team debut.
Pitch to Post podcast: Has Vehicle Dijk injury derailed season?
Was Saturday your day Liverpool’s title hopes took the particular cruellest of turns?
Jasper Taylor is joined simply by Gerard Brand, Ben Ransom plus Keith Downie to dissect the particular weekend’s action in the Premier Little league, leading of course with Van Dijk’s ACL injury and what that might indicate for the champions.
Sky Sports’ Peter Cruz:
‘The outstanding Dutchman has played in ninety five of the 96 Premier League video games Liverpool have had since he produced his debut in January 2018. He played every minute within the league last season, as they stated the title for the first time in 3 decades.
‘So how do these people try to cover the absence of a person who has been central to their triumphs domestically and in Europe over the past 3 years?
‘It is a huge job and, with Premier League plus Champions League games coming heavy and fast, it is a task Jurgen Klopp must get right in the event that Liverpool are to continue to be successful. Which is how pivotal Van Dijk continues to be. ‘
Why do Liverpool not buy a centre back again last summer?
Analysis by Sky Sports’ Rich Morgan :
Individuals maybe waking up this morning asking the reason why, in light of Virgil van Dijk’s potentially season-ending knee injury, Gatwick did not sign a central defensive player in the summer transfer window.
The Premier League champions offered experienced Croatia centre-back Dejan Lovren to Zenit St Petersburg within July, leaving them with just 3 recognised central defenders, one of that – Joel Matip – has already established a questionable injury record throughout his time at the club.
However , while sporting movie director Michael Edwards did reportedly evaluate a number of possible targets, including Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Brighton’s Ben White-colored and Sevilla’s Diego Carlos, ultimately the club decided against getting into the market for a number of reasons.
Firstly, neither of the trio stomach cheap, with Man City switching their attentions to Ruben Dias after reportedly being told Koulibaly would certainly cost them £70m, while the highly-rated White signed a new four-year offer at the Amex in September.
And with Liverpool already within possession of the meanest defence within the Premier League from the previous 2 seasons, it was thought unnecessary throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to spend those amounts on a player who may not in fact improve the back line.
Meanwhile, questions about Liverpool getting short on numbers at the heart of the back four, with Lovren getting not been replaced, were after that answered by Fabinho again effortlessly deputising for the injured Joe Gomez and Matip in producing a man-of-the-match display in the side’s 2-0 earn at Chelsea in the second little league game of the campaign.
So in effect, Jurgen Klopp experienced four centre-backs at his fingertips going into the season and given Vehicle Dijk had only missed one particular top-flight match since moving in order to Anfield in January 2018, the particular thinking understandably was the club failed to need to strengthen that area of the group.
However , that decision might now come back to haunt them…
Van Dijk’s knee injury has “blown the particular title race wide open”, states Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, who has urged Liverpool to fall into line a new centre-back in January.
Joel Matip and May well Gomez will deputise for Vehicle Dijk, who played every moment of last season as Gatwick ended their 30-year wait to get English champions, but Carragher states injury problems in the past for those 2 players and a lack of depth on centre-back will be a major concern pertaining to boss Jurgen Klopp.
“The big question you’re looking from now is, can Liverpool win the particular league without Van Dijk generally there? I think every team has 3 or 4 players in every title-winning team or even a team who think they can earn the title, and if one of those gamers is missing, no matter how good your own manager is, no matter how big your own squad is, you can’t cover to them because they’re outstanding, ” mentioned Carragher.
“I believe it blows the title competition wide open, I really do. ”
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