Jurgen Klopp has said Liverpool will “do the right thing” in the transfer market this month if the club can find a solution to the defensive problems caused by the long-term injuries suffered by Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
Van Dijk and Gomez are both battling to play again this season after undergoing knee surgeries in October and November respectively.
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Van Dijk is out with a cruciate ligament injury while Gomez is sidelined with a tendon injury suffered while training with England.
Despite the loss of their two first-choice centre-halves, Liverpool go into Monday’s Premier League clash with Southampton at St Mary’s as league leaders, with Klopp’s side ahead of second place Manchester United on goal difference.
Klopp has deployed midfielder Fabinho at centre-half alongside Joel Matip, as well as turning to teenager Rhys Williams and fringe player Nat Phillips, but the Liverpool manager admitted that the club will make a move this month if the right player becomes available.
“We have solutions in the squad obviously, but we struggled still with injuries, for most of the time with the centre-half position,” Klopp said. “It can happen like this when it starts and does not stop.
“We have solutions, but if we can do something in the window, it is like that. But it is a very difficult transfer window, as you can imagine.
“Not all of the clubs have real money. Doing something makes no sense, but doing the right thing makes sense. So far, though, we have really liked what we have done.
“Nat [Phillips] is a clever boy and knows about his ability and is using it and doing the job and helped us a lot.”
Klopp also said Liverpool face a tough battle to retain the title due to the intensity of competition at the top of the table this season.
Liverpool started 2020 with a 10-point lead at the top, having played two games fewer than second place Leicester, but only seven points separate Klopp’s men from ninth-placed Southampton ahead of Monday’s fixture.
“Last season was very tough for us as well and it was not as though we thought ‘oh my god this is easy,’” Klopp added. “It was really tough and this year is tough again.
“I am not surprised it is that close. We have our situation and all the other clubs have their situation and our season is so far so good. Not more. Not less.
“We try to be ready for each game. Now Southampton will ask for different things. Then Aston Villa, then Man United.
“This season is a tough one for the supporters. If you are a neutral, you will love it. I am pretty sure because it will go to the wire probably, but it is tough for all of us which is the reason why it is so close.”