A barrage of injuries at the back has inevitably moved Liverpool’s January transfer plans into full lens.
Will a depleted squad persuade Jurgen Klopp to dip into market come the turn of the year? As it stands, no.
Besides playing down talk of a ‘crisis’ at Anfield during his pre-match press conference, the Reds boss also hinted that he is unlikely to dedicate any money towards filling gaps in defence.
Six-week layoffs for both Joe Gomez (fractured leg) and Joel Matip (fractured collarbone) have left Virgil van Dijk and an injury-prone Dejan Lovren as the only fit senior centre-backs.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is meanwhile expected to miss much of December after suffering a foot injury during Tuesday’s Champions League win over Napoli.
Despite looking short on options, Klopp is refusing the panic.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: “Our situation is like this; if you would have asked me two weeks before if we’ll do anything in the transfer market, I would have said, ‘Probably not.’
“Now we have two centre-halves left. Will we do something? It’s not really likely because they [Gomez and Matip] are not out for a long time. But we have to judge it anew.”
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It’s increasingly important Lovren is now able to string together a run of games as a means of maintaining some familiarity and solidity to what has been a superb Liverpool defence.
The versatility of James Milner and Fabinho is also set to be put to the test over the festive period, with both emerging as emergency right-back options and the latter having been noted as an unorthodox centre-back alternative.
Nathaniel Clyne, too, will have a chance to play a key role having only managed one senior appearance so far this season on the back of a 2017/2018 campaign in which he featured just five times across all competitions.
It’s time for Klopp’s men to dig deep.