The Reason Why Jurgen Klopp Won't Panic Buy Amid Liverpool's Defensive Injury Woes
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has rubbished suggestions that his club will look to the market to resolve their worsening problems at centre-half.
Croatian centre-half Dejan Lovren pulled up injured early in last night’s defeat to Wolves at Molineux, leaving the midfielder Fabinho and the 16-year-old debutant Ki-Jana Hoever at the heart of the defence. It looked, speaking kindly, porous.
Virgil van Dijk sat out the game with a slight issue, while Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are on the sidelines. The Dutchman, while he is of course a fine central defender, is the only fit one at Klopp’s disposal.
But what chance of a new recruit to step into the breach? None, according to Klopp.
“The only country that asks a question like this is England. Everything is sorted with buying players,” he said during his post-match media duties last night.
“We need them back but you cannot buy a fifth centre-half and say ‘so you play two weeks and after that the others come in.’”
An internal solution will be sought, then, and we may well have already been found in the shape of the Brazilian Fabinho.
“We have four centre-halves. Three, maybe, two-and-a-half are injured so we’ll have to try and come through in the moment.
“We had to try to find a solution for that – and we found it, hopefully, with Fabinho."
Fabinho looked composed on the ball if nothing else last night and will surely cut a more convincing figure with the presence of van Dijk beside him and that of Alisson behind him. Joel Matip, Klopp told the German press last week, is also nearing a return.
“But there are still a few days to go until we can have them in team training, until [Joel] is ready for contact, which for a centre-half is pretty important. Until then we will make all the fitness work.
“The good thing is Joel can do all the fitness work already since a week or so ago, so that means when he will be back he will be 100 per cent fit. Then he has to get rhythm and everything will be fine,” he said.
Klopp, and the well-bitten nails of Liverpool fans across the country, will be hoping that neither Van Dijk nor Fabinho are stricken before the towering defender Matip is back in the swing of things.
(Albeit, I'd much rather Fabinho doing his thing in midfield – but, needs must).