Jamie Carragher rates Liverpool FC’s title prospects after Virgil van Dijk injury
Liverpool FC injury Jamie Carragher says Virgil van Dijk's injury has blown the title race wide open this season
Jamie Carragher says Virgil van Dijk’s knee injury casts doubt on Liverpool FC’s ability to retain their Premier League title this season.
The Reds suffered a devastating blow to their hopes of winning successive Premier League titles after Van Dijk sustained a serious knee injury in Liverpool FC’s 2-2 draw with Everton on Saturday.
Van Dijk sustained the injury after Jordan Pickford’s reckless challenge on the Netherlands international forced the 29-year-old off the pitch in the Merseyside derby.
The Dutch centre-half played a key role in Liverpool FC’s Premier League title success last term to help the Reds end their 30-year wait to get their hands on their top-flight crown.
Liverpool FC’s 2-2 draw with Everton in the derby left the defending champions in third position behind Carlo Ancelotti’s side and Aston Villa in the title race.
Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have all endured mixed starts to the Premier League season.
However, the quintet will fancy their chances of pushing Liverpool FC all the way in the title race given the huge void Van Dijk will leave in Klopp’s team.
Former Liverpool FC defender Carragher is fearful for the Merseyside outfit’s prospects of winning the Premier League crown.
“The big question you’re looking at now is, can Liverpool win the league without Van Dijk there?” Carragher told Sky Sports.
“I think every team has three or four players in every title-winning team or a team who think they can win the title, and if one of those players is missing, no matter how good your manager is, no matter how big your squad is, you can’t cover for them because they’re outstanding.
“I still felt at the start of this season Liverpool were the team to beat. I think with Van Dijk being out for what looks like the whole season now, I think it’s going to be all on for Liverpool.
“I think Liverpool certainly have to go into the market in January, and not just because of Van Dijk’s injury, but Liverpool were weak in that area anyway. They lost (Dejan) Lovren before the start of the season now the other players in those positions are very injury prone.”
Carragher added that Liverpool FC will need to be primed to sign a new centre-half when the January transfer window opens on 1 January.
Carragher continued: “Yes, devastating news for Virgil van Dijk – we pass on our wishes and I’m sure everyone does around football – but I think for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp and the club now, right away it’s who can they get in?
“I know the transfer window has just finished but they have to be ready on January 1 to bring someone in because they are really weak in that area and that could stop them going on to try to achieve what they want to achieve.”
Liverpool FC sold Dejan Lovren to Zenit St Petersburg in the summer transfer window but the Reds failed to sign a new centre-half.