Liverpool FC tipped to sign centre-half to challenge for Premier League title

John Aldridge believes Liverpool FC will sign a new defender in January despite suggestions otherwise

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp (Photo: New Balance)

Liverpool FC “simply have to” sign a centre-half in January in order to challenge for the Premier League title, according to former Reds striker John Aldridge.

The defending Premier League champions are currently without a fit senior centre-half in their squad after Joel Matip suffered an injury in Liverpool FC’s 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion last weekend.

Matip had to be replaced by Rhys Williams in the second half after the former Cameroon international appeared to suffer a groin problem in the second half of their Premier League clash.

Liverpool FC lost Virgil van Dijk to a season-ending knee injury in October after the Netherlands international was on the wrong end of a challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

The title holders then suffered a further blow later when Joe Gomez incurred a season-ending injury during training with the England squad.

Klopp has been forced to play Fabinho in an unorthodox centre-half role as well as use inexperienced Willians or Nathaniel Phillips alongside the Brazilian when Matip hasn’t been fit.

Liverpool FC have been linked with the likes of RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano and Ajax starlet Perr Schuurs ahead of the January transfer window.

And former Liverpool FC striker Aldridge believes it is paramount that the Reds bring in a new central defender this month.

“Word has been coming out of Anfield suggesting Liverpool are not looking to sign anyone next month, but it has to be a smokescreen because they simply have to sign a centre-half if they are serious about retaining the Premier League title,” Aldridge wrote in his column for the Sunday World.

“Joel Matip’s injury in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion confirmed what we have all appreciated for some time now – Liverpool have to spend money on a good quality defender.

“I like Matip, and if he could be relied upon to play the majority of games in the second-half of the season, manager Jurgen Klopp might be able to get through to next summer with the current squad.”

Aldridge added: “The injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have ripped a hole in Liverpool’s defensive line and with Matip clearly struggling with his fitness, Liverpool are horribly short at the centre of their defence.”

Liverpool FC will take on Southampton on Monday night.

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