Jamie Carragher insists it is ‘paramount’ Liverpool buy a centre-back in the January transfer window following the latest injury to Joel Matip.
Liverpool are now without a senior centre-back amongst their ranks after Matip limped off during the Reds’ 1-1 draw with West Brom, the Cameroonian joining long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez on the sidelines after sustaining an adductor injury at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp has utilised midfielder Fabinho at centre-back for much of the campaign and will now look to the inexperienced Nathaniel Phillips or Rhys Williams to cover Matip’s expected absence, and Carragher believes his former side must enter the market for defensive reinforcements.
Carragher believes Liverpool remain ‘the best team in the league without Van Dijk’ but believes a lack of cover at centre-back could prove costly to the Reds’ hopes of defending the title this season.
“It is a massive worry but it is not a new worry,” Carragher told Sky Sports.
“That is why it is paramount Liverpool sign someone in January. I said that as soon as Virgil van Dijk had his injury. Fabinho has looked like a top-class centre-back, but Matip is just too injury prone. His body just can’t take the rigours of playing in the Premier League week in, week out.
“I still believe Liverpool are the best team in the league even without Van Dijk. The only way they don’t win it is if they have problems at centre-back where Rhys Williams or Nat Phillips have to play for a prolonged period. It’s not a position for young players. At times they will make mistakes because they are young and learning.
“Liverpool need someone there to make sure that they don’t end up with two young lads playing there for five or six weeks if, say, Fabinho went down injured.
“They have to do something in January.”
Liverpool remain three points clear of Merseyside rivals Everton at the top of the table, while Leicester, Man Utd, Spurs and Man City are all within six points, with the two Manchester sides both having a game in hand.