Rio Ferdinand has warned that failing to bring in a centre-half before the January transfer window closes on Monday could “derail” Liverpool’s season, as reported by the Echo.
It is believed that the club’s attitude to making a potential signing this window has changed dramatically following the latest injury updates on Joel Matip and Fabinho.
“It’s a huge gamble if they don’t invest – either purchase a centre-back or get one in on loan – it has the potential to derail their season,” the former Manchester United defender said. “Not having these centre-backs in place doesn’t only affect the centre-back area, but you’re taking players out of the midfield area who are integral to this team’s success.”
Should Joel Matip face a long spell on the sidelines, as is feared, Jurgen Klopp will be forced to navigate the remainder of the season with only Fabinho (providing the Brazilian is set to return soon) and Academy graduates to fill our centre-back spots.
As solid as the likes of Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams have proved at the back – not to mention skipper Jordan Henderson, who deputised in defence against Tottenham – it’s not a viable situation for a title defence, let alone a challenge for the top four places.
Ferdinand has rightly pointed out that the disruption caused by our injury woes in the centre of defence has spread to our midfield, with key players routinely pulled back to cover for our missing stars.
Fabinho has been more than remarkable for us in the back four this term, but losing both the Brazilian and our captain at times has had a knock-on effect on performance.
Should the aim still be to try and mount a title defence, (or at the very least qualify for Champions League), a new centre-back signing must be considered an absolute minimum.