Why Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp would be making a mistake by not signing a defender in January
According to The Athletic (h/t Daily Mail), Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to dip into the January transfer market to sign a defender. Instead, it is being reported that the German is keen on waiting until the next summer transfer window.
What is the situation?
It all started at the Merseyside derby as Jordan Pickford clumsily went for a rather dangerous challenge on Virgil Van Dijk. Despite the physios treatment, the colossal defender had to exit the game, then and there. Liverpool fans’ worst nightmare became a reality as scans revealed it was an ACL injury.
Even Fabinho and Matip suffered short-term injuries from which they are set to return. Problems got compounded as Joe Gomez too, was ruled out for the season with an injury during the international break.
While you would think that is all, it is not. Full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold were also shot down with injuries. While the latter is out for the Leicester clash, Robertson is now fit.
It would be a blunder of epic proportions to not sign a senior central defender in January
Quite what is going on behind the scenes at Liverpool to hold a stance that the club will not look to sign a central defender in January, is anyone’s guess. It is said that the club hierarchy and Klopp agreed to not sign anyone in the winter transfer window.
In the absence of senior center-backs, academy player Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips had to be thrown into the mix. While it is admirable that Klopp trusts the youngsters, he needs to realise that fixtures are going to come thick and fast from hereon. From January onwards, they will have to deal with three competitions as the FA Cup starts.
Moreover, the Champions League knockout rounds will start as well and the club will be hoping to go farther than what they managed last season. Lastly, there is the behemoth that is Premier League. This has been one of the wildest starts to a season and the coveted trophy is up for grabs.
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Sure Klopp has Matip and Fabinho, who can slot in as makeshift centre-backs. But the problem here is that Matip has a history of regular injuries and using Fabinho in defence reduces the options in the middle of the park. The Brazilian is one of the best holding midfielders in the game and he is the only specialist player in that role at the club.
Keeping all the above mentioned factors in mind, it would be a huge blunder by Liverpool to not sign a central defender in January.