Dejan Lovren went off with an injury in Liverpool’s win against RB Salzburg. This is the second successive game that he has done so and he is yet to play eight consecutive games for the club. The player suggested that it was a hamstring injury. If this is the case, he will be out for a significant period of time. However, Jurgen Klopp suggested that the injury was similar to the one he suffered against Bournemouth. He recovered from that within three days, though suffered a recurrence of the injury in the Champions League, leaving Liverpool lacking at the back.
Dejan Lovren Injury Opens the Door for Joe Gomez
Lovren Out, Gomez In
In terms of immediate options, it will be Joe Gomez who slots in alongside Virgil van Dijk. They formed an impeccable centre-back pairing last season prior to Gomez’s injury and the England international will look to take his chance for an extended run in the team.
This means that for most games in the foreseeable future, Liverpool will use a back four of Andrew Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold. However, Liverpool have six games before December ends and it isn’t realistic for the same players to play every game.
Joel Matip and Fabinho, who would normally slot in at centre-back in the event of injuries, are out until the New Year so Liverpool may have to play their youth players. December could see players such as Ki-Jana Hoever and summer signing Sepp van den Berg given their chance to impress in the first team.
It’s All Right on the Night
Gomez playing at centre-back also exposes the lack of depth that Liverpool have at right-back, especially as Nathaniel Clyne remains injured. Gomez normally rotates for the position with Trent Alexander-Arnold, though if both are featuring in the back four this won’t be the case. One option, then, is for James Milner to slot in at right-back, though he prefers to play in centre midfield.
The other option for Klopp is to turn to his youth players. Neco Williams impressed during his debut against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup while the aforementioned Hoever and van den Berg are also capable of slotting in at right-back.