• Jack Bishop

OVER VAN OUT: WHO WILL REPLACE LIVERPOOL'S LEADING MAN?



Liverpool were faced with a noticeable setback on Saturday, with centre-back Virgil Van Dijk coming off injured after a grueling clash with Jordan Pickford in the first half of the Merseyside derby.  

It was then later announced by the club that the Netherlands international had ruptured his ACL, ruling him out until next season. 


Since his Liverpool debut, Van Dijk boasts the highest % of aerial duels won, with an impressive 75%, followed by Harry Maguire with 74%. 


The fan favorite will undoubtedly be a huge blow for the current title holders, who played a vital part in lasts season's Premier League title win with an impressive 99 points. 


Interestingly, football correspondent for the Athletic David Ornstein, has reported the possibility of the injury being feared worse than just an ACL rupture, potentially extending the time out for the defender. 

SHORT TERM DECISIONS 

For Klopp, he will be required to adapt his side to replace the dominant centre-back and it appears short term there may be an answer, that answer is midfielder Fabinho. 


The versatile Brazilian has been Klopp's makeshift replacement since the injury occurred and looking at his recent performances in the role, you can see why the former Dortmund manager has opted for this decision. 

In the four games that Fabinho has played at centre-back for Liverpool, they have kept four clean sheets. 

Liverpool 0 – 0 Bayern 

Brighton 0 – 3 Liverpool 

Chelsea 0 – 2 Liverpool 

Ajax 0 – 1 Liverpool 

An additional option for Liverpool could be Gomez and Matip, however, I believe that Klopp will continue to opt for Fabinho. 

JANUARY REPLACEMENT? 

If Liverpool are to make a January signing this coming window, it would have to be a player who is better than what they currently have. 


In a window where there is a low availability and high prices, the Merseyside club may opt to find a replacement internally for Virgil Van Dijk. 

PREDICTIONS LOOKING AHEAD 

I think for Liverpool with the quality they have within the side, technically they could replace Van Dijk, however, the problem lies more within the leadership qualities of the backline. 


Van Dijk provided a strong sense of leadership and organization for the entire squad, let alone just the defence. 

Time will tell whether the former Champions can maintain their impressive form, as they look to complete for back to back Premier League titles. 

Liverpool face Sheffield Utd this Saturday in the Premier League after an impressive 1 – 0  Champions League away win in the week against Ajax.