Virgil van Dijk and Alisson named as Liverpool’s two ‘irreplaceable’ players

Virgil van Dijk and Alisson are the only two players at Liverpool who are “irreplaceable”.

That is the view of former Reds midfielder Jason McAteer, who believes Jurgen Klopp has the strength in depth to cover every other position at the club.

Liverpool are head and shoulders above everyone else in the Premier League this season and are only four more wins away from claiming a first league title in 30 years.

Klopp has built a formidable squad of players since his arrival in 2015, turning the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah into world stars.

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At times the German has had to deal with injuries to some of his key players but the team has been able to negotiate their way through games.

Jordan Henderson is among those currently being ruled out of action, with the club captain at Anfield nursing a hamstring complaint.

But with James Milner, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Gini Wijnaldum able to deputise, he will not be missed all that much.

And McAteer reckons there are only two players who who simply cannot be replaced: Van Dijk and Alisson.

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McAteer told the Racing Post : "There are only two players in the Liverpool team who are irreplaceable – Virgil van Dijk and Alisson.

"Take either of those two out of the starting 11 and Liverpool are instantly weaker. Take anyone else out, however, and it's a different story – and even though I am a massive fan of his, that includes Jordan Henderson.

"Jurgen Klopp has so much cover in all areas that he can afford to lose key men for periods.

"When he lost Fabinho earlier in the season I remember the gasps and there were plenty of people saying he'd lost the most important cog in the midfield, the heartbeat of the team. Well yes, he was a miss – but have a look at the league table.

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"I never doubted that Jordan Henderson could take on the Fabinho role because he'd done it successfully before and he didn't let anyone down.

"And since then, of course, Jordan has become an absolutely central part of the team – but not irreplaceable. At least, not in terms of his playing ability. Where Jordan is missed – and we saw that against West Ham – is in terms of leadership."

Liverpool can move 25 points clear of second-placed Manchester City with a win at Watford on Saturday, putting them just three wins away from a maiden Premier League title.

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