Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool have ‘solutions’ to their centre-back crisis in the current squad and admits he is unsure whether the Reds will strengthen during the January transfer window.
Liverpool are currently without a fit recognised senior centre-back following a succession of defensive injuries, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez facing lengthy spells on the sidelines with knee injuries and Joel Matip struggling for fitness.
Fabinho has been utilised in an unfamiliar centre-back role for much of the campaign and the midfielder is set to be partnered by either Rhys Williams or Nathaniel Phillips during tonight’s clash with Southampton, the inexperienced duo having been handed opportunities this season.
Liverpool have been strongly linked with the signing of a new centre-back following the opening of the winter window, with several leading names questioning whether the champions can maintain their push for the title amid their depleted options.
Klopp, however, has warned of the pitfalls of the mid-season market and iniststed it would make ‘no sense’ to sign a short-term solution to the club’s current injury crisis.
“We have solutions in the squad, obviously,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference. “Yes, we struggled still. The injuries we had now from a specific moment happened most of the time in the centre-half position. That’s clear, it’s because some players are injured, play pretty quick – like Joel – and then get injured again. I don’t know how to say it but it just can happen like this when it starts at one point and it doesn’t stop.
“We have solutions in the squad and if we can, or if we will, do something in the window I don’t know, it’s really like that. It’s a very difficult transfer window, how you can imagine; not a lot of clubs have real money, some clubs don’t have money but don’t need money as well. So that’s the situation.
“Doing ‘something’ makes no sense. Doing the right thing would make sense. But doing ‘something’ makes no sense.
“So far, as long as we are in the situation we are, we have to deal with it. And we do. And I liked Nat [Phillips against Newcastle], I really liked what he did. He’s just an absolutely clear, completely clear boy, knows about his abilities and is using it and is just doing the job. He helped us a lot. It was clear he would play [at Newcastle] because we have three centre-halves at the moment, so if Rhys [Williams] would have played again then Nat wouldn’t have played for five or six weeks, which makes no sense because he needs rhythm as well.
“We have to think a lot, obviously, about these kind of things. He did a really good job.”