Everyone rather seems in agreement. With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez out for the season and now Joël Matip sidelined yet again with a potentially lengthy injury, Liverpool have no choice but to sign a centre half as soon as possible when the transfer window opens. To do otherwise would be reckless.
Despite that, rumblings out of the club in recent days have suggested that Jürgen Klopp and upper management are content to forge ahead this season with converted midfielder Fabinho and an assortment of promising youth players at the position. Former Red John Aldridge doesn’t buy it.
“Word has been coming out of Anfield suggesting Liverpool are not looking to sign anyone next month, but it has to be a smokescreen,” Aldridge wrote in the Sunday World. “The reality facing Liverpool is pretty stark—they have one senior centre-back to call upon and he is a midfielder, Fabinho.”
It’s a difficult stance to disagree with. Liverpool are likely to be playing two games a week the rest of the way this season and are in the thick of competing for honours in the Premier League and Champions League. Even if Matip returns before the end of January, it’s clear the club are lacking at the position.
What the answer is—be it a stabilizing, competent veteran on the cheap or moving up the timeline on acquiring a younger player who might have a long-term role to play at the club—it seems inarguable that it involves making a signing. And the sooner the better. Now we wait to find if the club disagrees.
“While Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have done well at centre-back, playing youngsters in such a vital position is a recipe for disaster,” he added. “Liverpool’s transfer committee has done a magnificent job of identifying players in recent years and now they need to pull another rabbit out of the hat.”