Liverpool’s January transfer plan could be decided by Jurgen Klopp ‘concern’ over two aces

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp might be slightly concerned about the injury history of Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, and that could well impact his transfer policy in the next two windows. That’s the opinion of former Reds defender Stephen Warnock.

Liverpool have been tipped to dip into the January transfer window to replace Virgil van Dijk after the Dutchman’s ACL injury.

Van Dijk will likely be out for the rest of the season after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament in the Merseyside Derby against Everton.

Things were made worse for Klopp against FC Midtjylland this week as Fabinho – who had been filling in for Van Dijk – suffered a suspected hamstring injury.

Matip is also in the treatment room at the moment after suffering a knock against Everton, leaving the Reds short of options at the back.

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Teenager Rhys Williams was brought into the side against Midtjylland in the Champions League to provide cover, and produced a solid display on his second appearance in the competition.

However, with fixtures coming thick and fast in the league and in Europe – Klopp has a difficult task on his hands with regards to lining up his defence.

There has been speculation that Liverpool could make a signing in the January transfer market to provide more options, with Dayot Upamecano and Ben White both tentatively linked.

And Warnock believes Klopp will be slightly concerned about Matip and Gomez’s injury history, and could base his decision on that when it comes to transfers.

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Speaking to Express Sport, he explained that he thinks Liverpool’s backroom staff will already be looking at ways they can prevent injuries from happening and speed up recovery time.

When asked if he thinks Liverpool might wait until next summer before buying a new defender, Warnock replied: “I do. [But] I think it also depends on the form of Gomez, Matip and Fabinho. It depends on their injury record as well.

“What you will say about Joel Matip is that he is quite injury prone, so can you rely on him for long periods of the season? I don’t think you can.

“Gomez has had his injury problems in the past as well and that might be in the back of Jurgen Klopp’s mind.

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“That’ll be a concern to him. Not the quality of the players, but their injury history. That’ll be a little bit of a concern.

“But maybe adapting the way they train, adapting the way their recoveries are taking place, I’m sure those are things the Liverpool medical staff are looking at constantly to see if that’s something they could do to help those players.”

Warnock went on to predict that Klopp and Liverpool transfer guru Michael Edwards will already be looking at potential options, but admitted that if they were to make a signing, they would have done in the summer transfer window.

The Reds were surprisingly active in the summer window, buying Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota for fees which will combine to over £60million once installments are paid.

Warnock explained that Liverpool will only buy this summer if they can find a top-class player, but warned that elite level players might not be on the market in January.

He continued: “When you get to the level Liverpool are at, you only bring in players who can kick the team on to another level. Thiago is one of those players who can do that.

“Jota has started incredibly well for his Liverpool career, so that’s proved a very astute buy as well and shows the quality of Liverpool in the transfer market.

“I think Jurgen Klopp and Michael Edwards will be looking at it and thinking ‘if there’s someone out there, we’ll do the deal’.

“But if that player is out there now, I think he would have been out there in the summer as well.”

Stephen Warnock spoke to Express Sport at the launch of 7 Elite Academy’s partnership with Coaching Connexions, which will give players from across the world the opportunity to study and train in Liverpool. For more information visit www.7eliteacademy.com.

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