Jamie Carragher identifies player Liverpool FC need to sign to replace Virgil van Dijk

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher urges Liverpool FC to sign RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano

Jamie Carragher
Ex-Liverpool FC defender Jamie Carragher (Photo: Sky Sports)

Jamie Carragher has urged Liverpool FC to sign RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano in the January transfer window to reinforce Jurgen Klopp’s back four in the absence of Virgil van Dijk.

The Netherlands international is set to be sidelined for between seven and eight months after Van Dijk suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the Merseyside derby.

The 29-year-old damaged his knee badly after Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford produced a reckless challenge on the Liverpool FC centre-half in the first half.

Van Dijk underwent a scan on Sunday before the defending Premier League champions confirmed that the Dutch centre-half won’t feature until the spring at the earliest.

Liverpool FC have Joe Gomez and Joel Matip as their only recognised centre-halves in Klopp’s squad after the Merseyside outfit sold Dejan Lovren to Zenit St Petersburg in the summer.

The Reds were linked with Napoli centre-half Kalidou Koulibaly and RB Leipzig defender Upamecano in the summer.

Former Liverpool FC defender Carragher believes the Reds need to make signing Upamecano a priority in the January transfer window.

“Liverpool’s next big signing had to be a centre-back anyway and I am talking next summer,” Carragher told Sky Sports.

“Dejan Lovren went and they didn’t replace him so they only have three centre-backs and one of those, Joel Matip, is always injured.

“There are question marks now about Joe Gomez.

“So there is no doubt that Liverpool had to go big in the transfer market next summer. That was the next one. That has now got to be brought forward to January 1st, whoever the target was in the summer. Not the end of January. Not [wasting time that month] negotiating with a club.”

On Upamecano, Carragher added: “There is a young man everyone was talking about at Leipzig, Dayot Upamecano, there is talk of him.

“Whether he has the profile of Van Dijk, I think he is only 6’1″ or 6’2”, so he is maybe not that aerial, but if he is the one they wanted then bring it forward.

“Pay extra money and do it on January 1st.

“That means getting through 11 league games without Virgil van Dijk.

“One thing to say about Virgil van Dijk is that in the last 23 games they have only kept five clean sheets, and Van Dijk played all of them, so it is not like everything was perfect. We saw the seven against Aston Villa and we saw the Leeds game.

“But I think they have to go big with a signing.”

Liverpool FC memorably sealed the signing of Van Dijk in a £75m deal from Southampton in the 2018 January transfer window.

The Reds confirmed the arrival of Van Dijk before 1 January 2018 after Liverpool FC wrapped up a deal before the transfer window opened.

Liverpool FC signed Thiago Alcantara, Konstantinos Tsimikas, Diogo Jota in the 2020 summer transfer window.

The Reds will take on Sheffield United at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday night.

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