Jose Mourinho has sympathised with Liverpool’s injury losses this term, highlighting the difficulty of replacing key players, as reported by the Mirror.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are set to visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium tomorrow evening, with the Spurs boss likely seeking revenge for December’s late capitulation at Anfield.
“You cannot make miracles. You have to compensate with what you have and Liverpool, when you speak about Van Dijk, you cannot replace him. There are some players you cannot replace,” the Portuguese said. “Like when Harry Kane was injured. You cannot replace Harry Kane. You cannot replace Van Dijk. You can only replace Van Dijk with Van Dijk when Van Dijk is back.”
“They have good players, they have experienced players. Fabinho, he can play everywhere. Everywhere. Matip back, experienced player. Jordan Henderson is another guy that with his experience and knowledge of the game, he can play everywhere too,” Mourinho added. “Sometimes it happens to clubs. Some players are really impossible to replace and you have to wait until they’re back and that’s what’s happening with Van Dijk.”
With Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk both suffering long-term injuries, the Reds have been left with the near impossible task of finding appropriate cover before the winter window closes next Monday.
Considering we’re discussing both our starting centre-backs, ‘near impossible’ probably doesn’t quite cut the direness of the situation.
While Mourinho is right to point out that certain players are irreplaceable – within the context of a season – reasonable cover should not be an impossibility for the club.
Klopp has benefitted from the smooth transition of midfielder-turned-defender Fabinho into the back four and the experience of Joel Matip.
However, the continued unreliability of the Cameroonian’s fitness levels mean that to avoid brining in another defender at this stage would be practically negligent.
It’s clear to the footballing world that we’re in desperate need of defensive reinforcements, but it remains to be seen whether the necessary finances will be provided.