Liverpool could stick to a long-term transfer plan despite Virgil van Dijk’s setback.


Jurgen Klopp could well say that the latest evidence suggests that life without Virgil van Dijk is not the death knell that many have believed.

So how does Liverpool go about replacing the irreplaceable?

Liverpool has been associated with transfer trains for Ozan Kabak and Dayot Upamecano – but how will Jurgen Klopp play it?

Both Ajax and Sheffield United put the Reds under pressure, and without the 75 million pound defensive boss Van Dijk on board, the game could have easily withered.

The victories over Ajax and Sheffield United may have been achieved without the hint of superiority that often clings to the champions, but Klopp will have been greatly encouraged by the dogged and determined qualities he showed.

A week after the news that the linchpin Liverpool with this ACL injury would at best be absent for most of the season, Klopp’s team has scored two wins in a row.

Van Dijk’s possible seasonal absence has inevitably led to widespread speculation about recruitment and who Liverpool might consider to ease the pressure in the January transfer window.

However, with Fabinho in formation, who made his way as central defender, and Joe Gomez improving by the minute, Liverpool held their own.

It was not a classic week, but the successive victories should not be sniffed at as the weaker Reds continue their search for the best gear.

The lack of willingness to find a replacement for Lovren eventually led to the champions having only three strikers left in the senior side, Van Dijk, Gomez and Joel Matip.

Dejan Lovren’s summer departure meant that many demanded an additional arrival of the central defender long before Van Dijk learned he needed surgery.

The latter has only completed 90 minutes once in over a year, so midfielder Fabinho is now in the central defender position for a season.

This particular quirk becomes even more remarkable when you consider that Fabinho and Gomez are Klopp’s 35th pairing in his five years at Anfield.

Although they have been together at Anfield for four years, Matip and Gomez have not yet started playing together as Liverpool central defenders.

When the ECHO asked on Friday why exactly this strange statistic is a fact of his Liverpool rule, Klopp attributed much of it to Van Dijk.

“As long as Dejan Lovren was here, we also had Dejan. I didn’t know that they never played together.

“The reason is that Virg played pretty much all the games and the other one was injured,” Klopp said.

“We never actually had that, there were a lot of changes in that one position.

“They will play together,” Klopp said. It’s just soccer, not rocket science, and we’re going to help them with information, and then they’re going to be tested every three days.

“For the Fabinho and Joe pairing, they have to get used to each other, the full backs have to get used to it, and the more stability you have in this line, the better it is.


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