Liverpool have been handed yet another injury blow as stand-in centre-back Fabinho was forced off the pitch against Midtjylland on Tuesday. After suffering a suspected hamstring injury, the Brazilian is set to undergo a scan to determine the severity of the situation.
But undoubtedly, no matter what length of time Fabinho is out for, he will be a huge miss for the Reds. He joins Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip on the sidelines in what can only be described as a nightmare situation for the reigning Premier League champions.
Young Rhys Williams stepped in for the 26-year-old and put in a solid performance across the backline. According to SofaScore, he won 100% of his attempted duels and made one tackle and one interception. However, Jurgen Klopp cannot afford to rely on the teenager for the rest of the season, or he risks losing his chances of back-to-back titles.
Jamie Carragher recently hit out at Klopp’s decision not to bring in a new centre-back during the summer window. Liverpool cashed in on senior defender Dejan Lovren, who joined Zenit St Petersburg for £10.9million. The amount made on the Croatian could’ve been put into buying a replacement, but left-back Kostas Tsimikas was the only defensive personnel to come through the door.
The Reds also opted to sell Ki-Jana Hoever, who went the opposite direction of former Wolves man Diogo Jota. By offloading two centre-backs and not recruiting anyone new, Liverpool could now be in serious trouble moving forwards.
Williams is currently the only real option Klopp has to play alongside Joe Gomez. Both Jordan Henderson and James Milner could fill the empty centre-back role, but with neither being fully experienced there, it could be too big a risk in a title-challenging season.
Similarly, Sepp van den Verg has been tipped for a move away from Liverpool after failing to break into the senior team on a permanent basis.
Whilst Williams may fix the leak for now, Klopp can’t put all his eggs in the teenager’s basket for the remainder of the season. He is certainly one for the future though, with manager of former side Kidderminster Harriers Russell Penn heaping praise on his ability.
The ex-midfielder described him as being well “respected” in a recent interview with the Liverpool ECHO.
A senior centre-back is an absolute must on Liverpool’s January shopping list, or they risk kissing goodbye to another potential title.