Liverpool’s plans for the January transfer window may need to be altered following a curveball that Jurgen Klopp described as ‘very unfortunate’.
According to the Daily Mail, the Reds could be forced into the market for a centre-back next month after Joel Matip ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, an injury which seems likely to have already ended his season as he’ll require surgery.
That major body blow has suddenly left LFC with little scope for manoeuvre when it comes to their options in that part of the pitch, which in turn could force their hand for the mid-season transfer window.
Matip’s injury leaves Liverpool with four centre-backs in their current senior squad – Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez and Jarell Quansah.
It’s far from a threadbare selection, thankfully, but the 26-year-old is frequently asked to deputise at right-back or – as we saw at Bramall Lane last night -sometimes on the left. Meanwhile, the latter is still only 20 and navigating his first campaign of senior football.
The Reds will have FA Cup and Europa League commitments in 2024, as well as a possible run to the Carabao Cup final, so squad depth is likely to be tested rigorously between now and the end of the season.
Liverpool are already paying the price for a heavy fixture schedule, with Matip, Alexis Mac Allister, Alisson Becker and Diogo Jota all suffering knocks of varying severity since the Manchester City game just 12 days ago.
There’s still plenty more football to be played this month, and the composition of the squad following those games could also shape Klopp’s transfer plans for January, but as things stand it’d be no surprise if the Anfield hierarchy step up their search for potential centre-back recruits in the coming weeks.