Jurgen Klopp content with his central defensive options

September 8, 2018

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has stressed that he is content with the central defensive options at hand despite the recent sale of Ragnar Klavan to Cagliari Calcio. The Estonia international parted ways with the Reds after two seasons and this has left the club with just three recognised centre-backs in the form of Virgil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip.

Speaking to reporters, Klopp said that he is not worried with the depth in the central defensive position with Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Phillips and summer signing Fabinho capable of slotting into the role when required, he said: “There’s no doubt about Joe’s ability to play centre-half, but he needs time. He’s had a long injury. He’s fit which is very good. Together with Virgil they have a very good understanding.

“We have the others as well. Joel is close to being back and could be in the squad on Monday. Dejan is still injured but we have Nat Phillips and Fabinho can play the position as well, if we need. That’s good. We have enough players. We need to see who fits the opponents best and then pick the lineup.”

At present, both Matip and Lovren are sidelined with minor injuries, which should keep them sidelined until the next international break and this has helped Gomez earn the starting role during the season opener. The England international has succumbed to long-term injuries, which have hampered him in the past, but hopefully, he can put the unwanted record behind him to stake a claim for a regular role.

Liverpool had a rather comfortable 4-0 win over West Ham United during the curtain raiser at Anfield last weekend but they could face a stiffer test when they make the trip to south London to take on Crystal Palace. The Eagles have played with a sense of attack-mindedness under the tutelage of Roy Hodgson and they are unlikely to hold back against the Reds with the home advantage.