Who could have possibly seen this coming? Virgil van Dijk went off with a red card in the 28th minute of last weekend’s game against Newcastle United, ensuring that he’d miss Sunday’s match against Aston Villa.
This came on top of Ibrahima Konaté missing out because of an injury he picked up before the match. While Konaté has been called up to the France side for the September international break, he is still not expected to be fit to start by this weekend.
It took all of three games, but Liverpool are now down to only Joël Matip and Joe Gomez as the available senior centre-backs. The two players, while both good, are also extremely injury prone. Last week, Jürgen Klopp resorted to sending in U21 defender Jarell Quansah to help protect the 10-man Liverpool.
All of this highlights what we’ve long known, which is that Liverpool desperately need another solid centre-back to shore up the team. While the club has made gains in rebuilding their depleted midfield, it’s nearly the summer transfer deadline, and there’s not a defender in sight.
It’s not hard to imagine a situation in the winter where the Reds find themselves in another full blown defensive crisis. There have been plenty of links to defenders around Europe over the summer, but nothing with any weight. Could Friday’s deadline day drama bring any surprises for the team?