Jurgen Klopp told his pre-match press conference that Joe Gomez is back in training but that unless there are injuries, he will spend the rest of the season recovering his fitness.
The English international suffered a leg fracture in mid-December and has not started a game for the Reds since. He has since returned to training and could feature again this season, says Klopp.
The boss said: “Having Joe around is a very difficult situation. He’s a wonderful footballer and needs time so we have to make sure he is 100% fit.
“If the other boys are fit we can give Joe time to get to full fitness and match practice elsewhere.”
Having Gomez back from injury is great news but rushing him back is not vital. He might be Liverpool’s second best central defender after van Dijk but the form of Joel Matip has meant that he hasn’t been missed as much as he might have.
Even if Klopp doesn’t give him a single minute for the rest of the season, the Reds could still win the Premier League and the Champions League.
That’s both a testament to how impressive Matip has been over the last four months and an indictment on how poor Dejan Lovren is.
The Croatian is now comfortably Liverpool’s fourth choice central defender and you could bet good money that a fair portion of the fanbase would also prefer to see Fabinho start ahead of him.
If Liverpool get a good offer this summer, they shouldn’t think twice about selling him. With the Reds looking like they’re only going to keep improving, Lovren is a player that won’t aid their rise to the top.
He’s barely played this season and Liverpool have been incredible – that’s not a coincidence.
The former Southampton defender has served the club well but he’s nowhere near the world class player he thinks he is.