Many were surprised on Sunday when it was Fabinho paired next to Virgil van Dijk in defense. That’s because both of Liverpool’s senior center-back options, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, were both unavailable.
Matip was an expected absence, but Gomez was a surprise. Fabinho did very well in his makeshift role, but it is mildly concerning that Klopp is forced to play someone out of position due to injuries in only the second game of the season.
After Liverpool beat Chelsea, Klopp gave an update on the two players. Joe Gomez, thankfully, was held back as a precaution after a knock and should already be cleared to resume training.
“Joe actually should be fine. It was not now really a big one but we have to see. We should be fine Monday already,” Klopp said.
Matip’s condition is more troublesome. He’s set to miss the next few weeks, and Klopp doesn’t expect him to be available until after the October international break. Klopp’s disappointment was apparent when he gave this turn of events the feared “not cool” distinction.
“With Joel, it could be slightly different. It’s not the worst thing in the world but a few weeks, a couple of weeks. Probably after the international break he will be ready again. So we have to see. It’s not cool,” he opined.
The next game that Liverpool face will be the League Cup against League One team Lincoln City. It would be unsurprising if the boss chose to give all of his senior center-backs a break and let the kids have a run out.
Because of that, Gomez will likely not be called upon again until the Reds welcome Arsenal to Anfield on Monday.