Liverpool is down to just one Senior Center Back, following yesterday’s Champions League win over FC Midtjylland. With Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip already out, makeshift Center back Fabinho was hauled off in the 30th minute. He could exit the field without assistance, but the hamstring problem could keep him out for a while.
Who Can Partner Joe Gomez?
Liverpool will have minimal options for this weekend’s clash with West Ham.
In his post-match press conference, manager Jurgen Klopp listed some possible replacements at Center Back. Rhys Williams did impress last night, but he is yet to make a Premier League appearance. Another option is Nathaniel Phillips, who spent much of last season on loan at German outfit VFB Stuttgart. A final option would be the 17-year-old Billy Koumetio, who impressed Liverpool fans during pre-season.
These three options all lack experience at the highest level, leaving Liverpool’s defense heavily weakened. The Reds will have to hope that these options will be sufficient until the projected return of Joel Matip on the 8th of November.
How Will This Affect Them Going Forward?
Liverpool is in action against West Ham this weekend before heading to Bergamo to take on Atalanta. The Hammers are a team in form, having taken eight points of Wolves, Leicester, Tottenham, and Manchester City this season. However, West Ham’s defense looks vulnerable on the counter, which Salah and Mane should exploit with ease.
Atalanta, on the other hand, is one of the freest scoring sides in Europe. They have scored 15 goals in just five Serie A games this season and could leave a makeshift Liverpool defense exposed.
In the long term, it is hard to see Liverpool challenging for trophies this season unless they bring in a center half in January. Dayot Upamecano, Ben White, and Ozan Kabak have all been touted as potential replacements. This is an investment that may be necessary if the Reds are to repeat the previous two seasons’ success.