Ever since Liverpool were crowned the English Champions in the 2019-20 season, their defence has come under scrutiny even though the club still has Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson in their squad. Since ‘Project Restart’ Liverpool’s defence has continued to leak goals and fans are reminiscing the early days of Jurgen Klopp with the club.
Earlier this season they had a shocking 7-2 defeat against Aston Villa at Villa Park and things haven’t been the same ever since. In a hotly contested Merseyside Derby, Liverpool lost their star defender Virgil van Dijk and now in this recently concluded international break, news emerged that their second first-team centre-back Joe Gomez has suffered a long time injury as well.
Joe Gomez is required to undergo a surgery to repair a tendon in his left knee and has joined his centre-back partner Virgil van Dijk on the sidelines for a lengthy spell away from the game. It just seems to be crisis after crisis for the Reds and this has got Jurgen Klopp and his team scratching their heads in order to find reasonable solutions. We take a look at who are prospects in the Liverpool squad and who can fill this void left behind by Gomez and Van Dijk.
Joel Matip is the only first team centre-back left in the squad post the injury to Joe Gomez. In the past year or so, the Cameroon international has been injured quite often. Remember, he was the first choice centre-back when Liverpool went on to lift the Champions League trophy in 2019. Klopp needs him to be fit desperately and so far he has been cautious with him. He hasn’t started any back-to-back games yet for Liverpool this season and it’ll be interesting to see how the German uses Matip in the coming few months.
Rhys Williams has more UEFA Champions League appearances than Premier League matches, which is pretty rare for a young player like him. He has impressed one and all with his calmness and ability on the ball. Champions League matches in which he has featured so far have resulted in clean sheets for the Reds. The England Under-21 player is one for the future and so far he has shown that he can handle himself at the biggest stage of European football.
In the summer it was certain that Nat Phillips would leave the club on loan or a permanent move. Due to lack of funds for all clubs around the globe because of the impact on the finances due to COVID-19 meant that a move for Philips didn’t transpire. Liverpool would be grateful for that as his services will be needed in the coming months. He isn’t registered in the Champions League squad but is available to play the Premier League games. Expect him to be a regular member of the squad in the coming domestic league matches.
The entire Liverpool squad was raving about the quality this 18-year old has during the pre season. ‘Billy the kid’ as Klopp likes to call him has been unlucky with some minor injuries in the past month or so. But the Frenchman is a sure shot prospect and he is expected to make his senior team debut very soon.
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