Dejan Lovren has been confirmed unavailable for Saturday’s encounter against Watford after the Croatian international sustained a muscle injury against RB Salzburg on Tuesday night.

The 33-year-old has been in fine form since filling in for the also injured Joel Matip. Lovren has a 100 per cent record in the league since his return to the first team with the Reds currently enjoying a club-record unbeaten run of 33 league matches.

Lovren has made eight consecutive starts since Joel Matip sustained a knee injury at Old Trafford in October. The absence of the defensive duo will hand fellow central defender Joe Gomez with an opportunity to finally string a run of games together.

Salzburg’s Norwegian forward Erling Haaland and Liverpool’s Croatian defender Dejan Lovren (R) vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match between RB Salzburg and Liverpool FC on December 10, 2019 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP) (Photo by JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images)

However, with the matches coming thick and fast for Jurgen Klopp’s side and with the FIFA Club World Cup on the horizon, should Liverpool consider adding defensive cover in the January transfer window?

There were concerns at the lack of defensive options after Klopp’s Friday afternoon press conference.

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“He is out, muscle this time – more serious than last time”, said Klopp

“We don’t have a timeframe.”

Fabinho has previously been used as centre-back cover during the Christmas run-in last year. However, the Brazilian international is currently sidelined until the new year following ligament damage.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool and team mate Joe Gomez celebrate following the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium on September 15, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Only Gomez and Virgil van Dijk are Liverpool’s remaining senior options at centre-back.

Klopp will be concerned with the growing number of injuries but there is no need to break the bank unless the FIFA Coach of the Year identifies the perfect target for the right price.

Van Dijk has proven he can be relied upon to cope with the intensity of the Christmas period since his record-breaking move in January 2018. The Netherland’s captain has started every Premier League match for the European champions since his league debut and him and Gomez have proven a reliable pairing in the past.

Liverpool were at their defensive best when both Gomez and Van Dijk were at the defensive helm last season. The pair had nine clean sheets in 15 league matches before the Englishman fractured his leg at Burnley in December. They conceded just six league goals during that period – a club record.

Klopp has no reason for concern just yet, but should the manager be dealt yet another injury blow it may be difficult to look beyond the upcoming January window.

 

 

 

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