When Joel Matip went down injured towards the end of Liverpool's 4 - 3 victory over Fulham last weekend, Reds Manager Jurgen Klopp feared the worst. Yesterday those feared were confirmed, with the veteran defender rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
The news is a desperate blow to both the player, and the club, as we enter the busy Christmas period, and games come thick and fast for the next 2 months.
Due to the severaty of the injury, Matip will likely miss 9 months of football, meaning he will not play again this season, and may even struggle to be fit for the start of next season. By that point, the Cameroon defender will be out of contract with the Reds, which raises the possibility that he may have played his last game for Liverpool.
Since joining LFC from Schalke on a free transfer in the summer of 2016, Matip has made 201 appearances in all competitions, forming a solid partnership with Virgil Van Dijk at the heart of the Reds defence. Matip has also contributed 11 goals, mostly from corners and set pieces.
January transfer plans may need re-thinking...
With Matip sidelined, Klopp's centreback options are Van Dijk, Konate, Quansah and Gomez. Van Dijk and Konate will therefore become the first choice pairing, with youngster Quansah filling in, in cup and Europa League games. Joe Gomez is a solid central defender, but he is already acting as cover for the full back positions, with Andy Robertson injured for another 2 months, and no proper cover for Alexander-Arnold at right back.
Klopp will therefore likely be forced into action in the January transfer window. It was somewhat of a surprise that another CB was not purchased during the summer, but the emergence of Quansah seemed to have justified that decision. However, Matip's injury means a re-think will be required, with Liverpool's scouts now actively looking at who might be available, at the right price, that could come in and provide competition and cover in the centre of defence.
Speaking about the injur, Klopp commented :
"It's what I unfortunately expected from the first second, everything looked like that. It's very unfortunate."
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... About The Author ...
Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 352
Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.
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