Despite the 1-0 away victory in the first leg of the League Cup semifinal, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp seemed irritable in both the post match interview and press conference. The reason for this unease was the high cost of the victory, losing two (possibly three) players to injury during the course of the game.
If Klopp didn't like the word "hamstring" before last night, he certainly isn't a fan after last night. Since it's January and Liverpool have potentially no fit senior center backs, the media was quick to point to the elephant in the room, and ask Klopp about the potential for bringing in new players. Generally, Klopp has bristled at talk of bringing in new players, but not last night.
"In this situation with no center backs fit, I would say (transfers) is something we could look at," Klopp said in his post-match presser. "Two weeks ago, we had three (center backs). That's a good situation. When we started the season we had five including Joe Gomez. They are normal injuries and in pre-season they are still in the race and can cope in this intensity. We could wave a white flag and say no team versus Stoke, but that's not possible."
When fully fit, center back is hardly an area of urgent need, but with the first three top-choice defenders out, it might be something worth looking into. Martin Skrtel will likely be out at least another month after his hamstring injury, and we are still waiting to hear the expected recovery time from Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho. Unlike the other two, Sakho does not have a hamstring pull, but picked up a knock from the "soft" foul against Sunderland.
Many have been quick to point the finger at Klopp because of his training methods and intense playing style, and Klopp is willing to take the blame.
"We don't train, we only recover - that's the situation. I'm responsible for these things and if you want to make me responsible, then that's OK, that's the next step."
With at least 5 (possibly as many as 7) more games left in January, Klopp will need to find a solution to his depleted squad.