Lost amongst the fervor of Jürgen Klopp and James Milner signing renewed contracts on Friday was some unfortunate news about Liverpool’s defensive ranks.
Klopp confirmed at his pre-match press conference that Dejan Lovren would not only miss Saturday’s match with Watford but, due to the muscle injury he picked up at RB Salzburg, the Croatian is set to be out for an extended and unknown period of time. Scary stuff for Liverpool’s defensive depth.
“He’s out. Muscle. This time more serious than last time.
“Look, we have problems. We don’t have a time frame.”
Joël Matip remains out until January at the earliest. Matip injured his knee back in October. And Fabinho, an able defender in a pinch, is also out until the new year. That leaves Klopp with only Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk as his senior centre-backs, followed by young players Ki-Jana Hoever and Sepp van den Berg and then probably Jordan Henderson as back up.
“It’s a concern, you can imagine. It’s not the first time we’ve had a situation like this, last year I think Fabinho played one game at centre-half but he’s injured too.
“It’s not too cool. At the moment we have two.
“We should take care. Pack them in cotton wool, ask them what they want to do in training and say ‘are you ready?’ Apart from that we have to be creative.
“We have the kids of course with Ki-Jana and Sepp. We have defensive-minded midfielders. There are different systems where you can use other kinds of defenders as well.
“That’s how it is. At this moment I have a lot of ideas but I hope for most of them I don’t have to use them to be honest.”
I know you only wanted to celebrate and be happy about Klopp and Milner and I’m sorry I had to be the one to bring you the bad news about Lovren. But look on the bright side, more Joe Gomez!