There are so many aspects of Liverpool’s 2020/21 season which suggests Jurgen Klopp is about to step into unknown territory with Joe Gomez having joined Virgil van Dijk on the sidelines.
Not since the 3-0 victory at Huddersfield Town in January 2018 have Liverpool lined up for a Premier League match without either Van Dijk or Gomez at the heart of the defence.
Such an unforeseen series of events may have altered the club’s thinking entirely when it comes to transfers and long-term strategies for the future.
As of right now, Liverpool are in an injury crisis and cannot shift away from the immediate problem at hand.
Whichever avenue Klopp looks to pursue from this moment, Liverpool need a solution and they need one quickly.
When January comes, Liverpool have to be ready to pounce and secure the services of another central defensive option, whether Gomez is fit or not.
How do Liverpool tackle such adversity?
Liverpool, make no mistake, took a risk heading into the new campaign. The Premier League champions gambled that they could get by with just three recognised options at centre backs.
Now Klopp potentially has been forced into accelerating his transfer plans forward, and getting someone through the door in 48 days time is much easier said than done.
We have seen just how hard it is to find real, top-class centre backs. It’s not a position that screams out with an array of ready-made quick-fixes – just ask Manchester United.
But a solution is what Liverpool must find, one way or another. Van Dijk is out for the long-term, as is Gomez and Fabinho while Joel Matip has only started three matches in the last 13 months.
There was recently a hope that Liverpool’s summer transfer plans would be focussed on acquiring either Kylian Mbappe or Jadon Sancho to bolster the club’s attacking options yet recent injury woes and the inspiring form of Diogo Jota have shifted Klopp’s order of priorities entirely.
Previous notions of Liverpool integrating another blockbuster addition to Klopp’s forward line next summer have quickly been made redundant.
In just a matter of months, Klopp has seen two of his signings Thiago Alcantara and Kostas Tsimikas test positive for COVID-19 and then pick up subsequent injuries. Sadio Mane, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri have also had encounters with the virus too, while Alisson Becker endured a period on the sidelines following a freak collision in training.
If that wasn’t unfortunate enough for the English champions, Liverpool lost three players (Van Dijk, Thiago and Matip) in 90 minutes against Everton before Fabinho endured a hamstring problem two matches later.
On Sunday, Liverpool lost Trent Alexander-Arnold to a calf problem which The Times reports could see him out of action for up to four weeks. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been absent since pre-season.
The Liverpool manager has always insisted that the club will not buy players just because the media agenda dictates so, but sometimes events force you to revaluate.
Liverpool need one or two defenders by next summer in any case. Now, they must get one through the door as early as January.
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