Liverpool have signed Virgil van Dijk in a record-setting £75M deal, the highest price yet paid for a defender, and that news has rightly dominated the last 24 hours, but Van Dijk isn’t able to join up until January and there’s a Liverpool match Jürgen Klopp has to prepare his team for before the new year.
And today, he and Liverpool fans found out that Jordan Henderson will not be available to face Leicester City on Saturday—or, in all likelihood, to be able to play again until near the end of next month. This news comes after Henderson limped off the pitch against Arsenal on the 22nd and then was left out against Swansea.
At the time, the hope was that he had just suffered a minor strain and that his absence was largely precautionary, but with the tests coming back today it is a mild hamstring tear and not a simple strain, and that means Liverpool’s captain will spend at least a further four weeks on the sidelines.
It’s another setback for Henderson, who has struggled for fitness over the past two seasons and over that time has failed rediscover the form that saw him look a key player and one of the best in the Premier League during Klopp’s first season in charge. And, sadly, it means questions must be asked about his future.
The situation could be further complicated if Emre Can signs a pre-contract with another club in January and Liverpool face the choice of selling him now or seeing him walk for nothing in the summer, given beyond Can and Henderson there are no real options to anchor Klopp’s midfield in the current squad.
With Van Dijk having already been signed, it’s hard to imagine another major deal getting done in January, but if Henderson’s long-term future is in doubt and Can signs a pre-contract with another club in January as expected, it could force Liverpool into the market in search of a new number six.