Jurgen Klopp’s defensive woes took another turn for the worse recently when it was revealed that Joe Gomez had picked up an injury during international training with England but he may have a ready-made replacement for the former Charlton Athletic man in Jordan Henderson.
It was revealed on Wednesday that Gomez will need to have scans on a potential knee injury that he picked up in training, ahead of England’s fixture against the Republic of Ireland on Thursday (per BBC Sport).
The Reds are already missing first-team regulars Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho, with the injury-prone Joel Matip currently Liverpool’s only fit senior centre-back other than the inexperienced Sepp Van de Berg and Nathaniel Phillips.
Whilst we have seen the likes of Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips fill in there in recent weeks, it would be a surprise if Klopp trusted one or both of them to become regular starters in his side, while they cope with the loss of Gomez and Van Dijk.
Therefore, we feel that the German manager should consider playing Jordan Henderson as a centre-back for upcoming fixtures, at least until the January transfer window when they will surely be looking to bring in defensive reinforcements.
Whilst the Englishman has made just one appearance as a centre-back in his career thus far, WhoScored lists his strengths as passing and tackling, suggesting that he could fill in as a ball-playing centre-back in Klopp’s side.
You can also be sure with Henderson that he will put 100% effort into every game, no matter which position Klopp asks him to play.
Although the former Sunderland man is perhaps a little short to be a centre-back, standing at 5 foot 10, if he is partnered with Matip in defence, the Cameroonian’s 6 foot 4 frame should help compensate for this.
We already know that Klopp is a huge fan of the 30-year-old, with the German manager full of praise for his captain following Liverpool’s win against Wolves last season, as he said:
“His goal was incredible and that is just another side of his outstanding shape at the moment. He played an unbelievable game again.
“He was really shouting at everyone, keeping them on their toes, but it’s not about the shouting it’s about what you say.
“He only asks for things he expects from himself as well. We couldn’t be in the situation we are without these kinds of characters.” (per FourFourTwo)
Therefore, we feel that Klopp can trust Henderson as a centre-back in his side, as he is clearly a leader in this Liverpool team, and he can feature there either until Fabinho or Gomez return or until the January transfer window when they can bring in a more natural defender for the first-team.