Liverpool urged to seal 'no brainer' transfer deal in January window


Defensive reinforcements for Liverpool in January are a 'no-brainer' despite the impressive performances of the Reds' young stand-ins, says former attacker Steve McManaman

The Premier League and world champions are experiencing an unprecedented injury crisis at the back, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both having sustained long-term injuries which look likely to rule them out for most if not all of the current campaign.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold also currently out with a calf problem, and care needing to be taken with the fitness of Joel Matip, the only other senior centre back presently on the books, as well as midfielder Fabinho who has been pressed into a defensive role at times, youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams have featured in Jurgen Klopp's first team.

McManaman, speaking at a BT Sport virtual press conference ahead of Liverpool's Champions League clash with Ajax, believes the youngsters have performed creditably given the circumstances but says if the Reds can strike the right deal, a new defender in January would be a big boost to the Reds' hopes for honours this season.

Addressing the transfer window which opens in exactly one month, McManaman said: "The only area where you would say Liverpool might need someone is in the centre of defence.

"People keep talking about the fact they let Dejan Lovren go and never really replaced him which is true but you don't expect them to get two or three injuries in that one position.

"Would I bring someone in in January if I had the money to get a good centre half? The answer would be yes but I don't know what the financial situation is at Liverpool Football Club.

"If Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are going to be out for significant periods of time which it seems they are, you can play Fabinho and Joel Matip there but Fabinho's been excellent in the centre of midfield area and you'd be taking him away from there.

"So if you're still in the hunt for the major competitions and you've got the finances available, I would certainly go out and try to buy a really good central defender, that would be a no-brainer for me and then if you've got too many defenders you sort it out at the end of the season.

"I think with the injury history of poor Joe Gomez, who's been incredibly unlucky along with Joel Matip as well then you're going down to some of the Academy players - who have done well - but it's hard once you get to the latter stages of the Champions League and the Premier League as well.

"It is a no-brainer for me to get someone if it's doable and then you can deal with the numbers further down the line if you're successful at the end of the season."

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