Liverpool are about to find out if they really need a new centre-back. The Reds face off against Manchester City – as tough a task as it gets.
Virgil van Dijk is out for the foreseeable future and Fabinho isn’t available either. That’s the situation for Liverpool as they prepare to face Manchester City.
Joel Matip might make it back to take a place in the XI, otherwise, it’ll surely be Joe Gomez and either Rhys Williams or Nathaniel Phillips. The latter two are very inexperienced at this level.
No wonder, then, that Liverpool are reportedly looking at defenders for January.
Sportbild, for instance, says the Reds like Dayot Upamecano, who’s available for around £36m. ESPN believe Liverpool could move for Milan Skriniar at £54m, though, while the Mirror link them with £40m Ozan Kabak.
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That’s a lot of money, then, for what is essentially a reactionary signing in light of injuries. We don’t have any reason to believe Liverpool would spend the cash in January if Van Dijk were still available.
Liverpool will find out if they should do so when they take on City. They’re away at Pep Guardiola’s side and that’s about as tough a task as it gets in the Premier League.
If Liverpool can navigate it with Gomez, Matip and a youngster or two, then they might be far less inclined to spend upwards of £30m on a new centre-back.
A positive result would prove that Liverpool do have what it takes to compete, despite Van Dijk’s injury. After all, every single remaining game will be easier than this after Sunday. Look comfortable and Jurgen Klopp will know he can see out the season with what he’s got.
Sunday is a huge game, then. Not just for the title-race but for Liverpool’s transfer plans.