Liverpool centre again Virgil van Dijk’s prolonged absence by a knee damage has opened up the Premier League title race and the champions must look to sign a alternative within the January switch window, former defender Jamie Carragher mentioned.
Dutchman Van Dijk can have surgical procedure for broken ligaments sustained in Saturday’s Merseyside derby draw in opposition to Everton after a problem by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
“The big question you’re looking at now is, can Liverpool win the league without Van Dijk there? I think it blows the title race wide open,” Carragher informed Sky Sports.
“I still felt at the start of this season Liverpool were the team to beat. With Van Dijk out for what looks like the whole season, it’s going to be all on for Liverpool.
“Liverpool have to go into the market in January and not just because of Van Dijk’s injury. They were weak in that area anyway. They lost (Dejan) Lovren before the start of the season… others in those positions are injury prone.”
Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy described Van Dijk as one of the best centre again on the planet and mentioned that Liverpool could be extra susceptible with out him.
“Fabinho can drop in there if (Joel) Matip and (Joe) Gomez are struggling but beyond that, there’s not much there,” Murphy informed the BBC. “They’ve got get through to January without him (Van Dijk).”
Van Dijk mentioned in an announcement that he hoped to make a fast return.
“In football and in life, I believe everything happens for a reason and it’s important to try and keep level-headed whether going though the highs or the lows,” he mentioned.
Liverpool’s hopes of retaining the Premier League title took a significant hit when the champions introduced Virgil van Dijk requires surgical procedure on his right knee after damaging ligaments in a problem by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford throughout the Merseyside derby.
Liverpool didn’t give a timescale on Van Dijk’s absence, however an damage of that nature will doubtless hold the Netherlands worldwide out for a long interval.
“Following surgery,” Liverpool stated, “Van Dijk will begin a rehabilitation program with the club’s medical team to enable him to reach full fitness as soon as possible.” Van Dijk was the topic of a reckless, knee-high lunge by Pickford within the sixth minute of the two-2 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday. The middle again instantly got here off after prolonged therapy and hobbled gingerly across the subject to the locker room. It meant English soccer’s participant of the 12 months from 2018-19 missed his first minutes of league motion since September 2018.
Van Dijk has been a commanding presence on the coronary heart of Liverpool’s again line all through the group’s rise to the highest of English and European soccer in recent times. Liverpool has conceded the fewest targets of any group in every of the final two Premier League seasons.
Without its finest defender, Liverpool supervisor Jürgen Klopp has two specialist middle backs in Joel Matip — who has lately returned from damage — and Joe Gomez, who has struggled for type this season.
Fabinho, a defensive central midfielder, can even drop again to play at middle half if vital.
Liverpool is also at the moment hampered by the lack of its first-selection goalkeeper, Alisson Becker.
The video games are coming thick and quick for the group, which begins its Champions League group-stage marketing campaign on Wednesday with a visit to Ajax. There are group video games in successive midweeks till the subsequent worldwide break in mid-November.
Liverpool has 10 factors from a doable 15 after the opening 5 video games of its title protection, and lies three factors behind first-place Everton.