Liverpool are currently going through an injury crisis and manager Jurgen Klopp has a seismic job on his hands to negotiate the squad through to January and remain in the title race, according to a former Premier League scout.
Fresh headache for Jurgen Klopp
The 53-year-old tactician may be about to embark on one of his toughest challenges yet after losing several of his key personnel only a few weeks into the 2020/21 campaign.
Talisman Virgil van Dijk has been ruled out for a significant amount of time after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament, Joel Matip has been struggling to stay fit for some time and stand-in defender Fabinho limped off clutching his hamstring after their 2-0 win over FC Midtjylland on Tuesday night.
This leaves Joe Gomez as the only established centre-back available for selection, while Rhys Williams, Nathaniel Phillips, Billy Koumetio and Sepp van den Berg could feature but lack top-flight experience (via The Athletic).
Not many would like to be in Klopp’s shoes right now, and that includes former Watford scout Tor-Kristian Karlsen, who provided his take on the Reds’ chances of retaining their Premier League crown following their recent injury woes.
“That Van Dijk was injured was in itself a disaster. Then Fabinho is also injured. It is clear that they are greatly reduced [in numbers in defence],” Karlsen told the Norweigan publication VG (cited by Sport Witness).
“I don’t envy Klopp and the sports apparatus of Liverpool at all in the task of solving this.”
“You have to build up the attacks in a completely different way, and the mechanisms and relationships that you are so used to, they disappear.”
“There are big challenges, and the defensive position is, from experience, the most difficult position to find someone new in. This complicates the season for Liverpool very much.”
“The Van Dijk injury was the result of a tackle, but as we see with Fabinho, fatigue injuries are starting to come, and it is terribly difficult for clubs to know how much you can actually burden players in the fixtures list that [we have] now.”
“They go well from being a favourite to becoming outsiders here [to win the title].”
Karlsen highlights Klopp’s scenario as perhaps being harder than initially anticipated. That being said, Liverpool are joint-top of the standings along with arch-rivals Everton after their first six games, which doesn’t suggest that they are going through a crisis scenario.
The Reds will have to wait until January to bring fresh faces to the club and must make do with the young players in the team until then.
Karlsen is right; it may lessen their chances of retaining the title but time will tell as to how Klopp copes with the challenge.
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