Centre-backs are useless. Go ahead and look through my considerable post history here, and you’ll see that I have been very consistent on this one opinion: centre-backs have no place in football and, frankly, are just a waste of money and a body on the pitch. That’s why I personally couldn’t be more thrilled to see one of Liverpool’s two remaining healthy senior centre-backs fall on the ground clutching his hamstring. Now if we can just get rid of Virgil van Dijk, maybe the Reds can finally land that elusive 19th league trophy.
Jürgen Klopp confirmed what our eyes told us, which is that Dejan Lovren did, in fact, fall to a hamstring injury during Liverpool’s FA Cup defeat against Wolves on Monday.
“[It is his] hamstring, is what I heard - without any signs before,” Klopp explained. “I asked everybody, no signs, nothing, just out of the blue, so that’s the decision you have to make.
“I am not sure what you all would have said if immediately from the beginning our centre-half situation was Fabinho and Ki-Jana; then probably a few very smart people would tell me that I don’t respect the competition or whatever.”
It’s too early to give a timeline for Lovren’s time out, but three-to-six weeks is a good guess based on the type of injury.
Liverpool travel to Brighton this weekend, so we’ll likely see some combination of Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum, and, much less likely, new boy Ki-Jana Hoever playing alongside van Dijk in the defense.
So the wait is on for the return of the currently injured defenders Joël Matip and Joe Gomez. It appears that Matip will be the first to be declared healthy. Brighton is too early to expect him, but we may see him back in the team before the end of the month. It was anticipated that Gomez would return in the first half of February, and the player seems on track to make that deadline as of right now.
Liverpool’s upcoming fixtures include Brighton, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, West Ham, and Bournemouth. These are all matches that Liverpool should be expected to do well in, but that makes it even more important that they have a solid defense to take into each of them. There can be very little margin for error if Liverpool want to maintain a successful title challenge and their slim lead over Manchester City in the second half of the season.