Jurgen Klopp admits Fabinho’s injury “was the last thing Liverpool needed”...

Jurgen Klopp admitted Fabinho’s injury was “the last thing we needed” as Liverpool’s defensive problems worsened when they beat Midtjylland.

Fabinho has played in defense in the absence of Virgil van Dijk but gave Klopp another defensive scare when he was replaced after half an hour at Anfield with an injury the manager admitted and expects to be fully diagnosed after a scan on Wednesday morning.

Klopp told BT Sport: “It is exactly the last thing we needed. What can I say? I know he felt his hamstring, that’s not good, he didn’t feel it that much, he said he could have kept on playing, but obviously not helping in this position without sprints.

“We’ll see, we have to do a scan and then we’ll know more, but of course that’s not good.”

Liverpool’s upcoming games

  • October 31st: West Ham (h)
  • 3. November: Atalanta (a)
  • 7. November: Man City (a)
  • 25. November: Atalanta (h)
  • 28. November: Brighton (a)
  • December 1: Ajax (h)
  • December 5th: Wolves (h)
  • 9th of December: Midtjylland (a)
  • 12th of December: Fulham (a)

Fabinho had started the game as partner of Joe Gomez before receiving treatment on the field and being replaced by 19-year-old Rhys Williams, who was on loan for the last hour at Kidderminster Harriers sixth grade last season.

A sacking for Fabinho would exacerbate Liverpool’s injury problems as Van Dijk undergoes surgery for a cruciate ligament damage he sustained during a challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford earlier this month.

Van Dijk could miss the rest of the season despite Klopp and the club declining to schedule his recovery.

Image:
Fabinho was sent off injured in the first half after pulling the ball

In his post-game press conference, Klopp also remained reluctant to fix a return flight date for Joel Matip, who had been absent due to injury since the Merseyside derby.

“We have to see how it is,” he said. “If it was just one game, the last game of the season, we could get one or the other fit for a game, but then we play again three days later, but we play again three days later and we need players again.”

“We cannot use the players who are now injured on the first day when they are fit again or no longer injured.”

Klopp: Between three youngsters to play West Ham

Image:
Jürgen Klopp congratulated Rhys Williams after the solid performance of the youngster on the 2-0 win against Midtjylland

Klopp seemed to admit that Williams, Nathaniel Phillips or 17-year-old Billy Koumetio, who only signed his first professional contract with Liverpool in August and only made a single appearance for the club, would rather face West Ham above U18 level.

He said: “[Williams] really well done. Everything was calm around him. We will try that too. He’s talented, he plays for the U20s in England, he’s 19 years old and I didn’t say anything new when I said he had more minutes in the Champions League than minutes in the Premier League. He has not yet played in the Premier League but has played two Champions League games now. He also won both games, which is pretty extraordinary.

“He did well, everything looks promising – and apart from Rhys, we have Nathaniel Phillips. We thought he could move to another club so he’s not in the Champions League squad, which is strange, but he’s also a midfielder. ”

„Billy [Koumetio]I’m not sure if he can train tomorrow or not but he will train again so we have very young and inexperienced alternatives and right now it looks like we have to choose one of them.

“I don’t know yet, but to be very clear and positive, Rhys wasn’t a problem for us in one situation tonight, he played a really good game.”

Who could stand up for Van Dijk, Fabinho?

Image:
Nathaniel Phillips, Rhys Williams and Sepp van den Berg could be center-backs for Liverpool in the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho

Due to Virgil van Dijk’s long-term injury, Jürgen Klopp has thought a lot about his selection for the central defender in the coming weeks. As Fabinho also plays against Midtjylland, he may have to turn to the youth.

Rhys Williams, Sepp van den Berg, Nathaniel Phillips and Billy Koumetio are among the leading young center-backs in Liverpool and this is where we evaluate their skills.

Read the feature here

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