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Joel Matip: Defender’s Injury-Prone Nature Slowly Damaging Liverpool Title Push

Matip Injury

Joel Matip was forced to withdraw in the second half with a groin injury following Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with West Brom.

The centre-back is now a doubt for the Premier League match against Newcastle United on Wednesday, and the latest setback has added to the growing injury list with all three senior centre-halves now ruled out.

Matip Injury Issue Strikes Again

Jurgen Klopp Has His Say

Speaking to the Sky Sports, Klopp bemoaned the latest setback, saying: “Joel told me he felt something in his abductor, and that’s obviously not too good.

“Not sure how serious it is now, but it was serious enough that he had to leave the pitch. The rest of the information I will get tomorrow.

“That’s not the first time a centre-half is injured, so of course it’s not good especially now when he was in really good shape again.

“But we cannot change that, and we have to just accept it and carry on.”

Selection Headache Following Matip Injury

Jurgen Klopp’s defensive options have been further depleted with Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips the only viable options.

With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez already sidelined with long-term injuries, Klopp has a major selection problem.

Rhys Williams could deputise alongside Fabinho, and although the centre-half has been impressive this season— continuing to thrust the youngster in at the deep end could backfire.

Likewise, Nathaniel Phillips has only made two Premier League appearances all season and may be too inexperienced to lead the defence.

January Transfer Window

Liverpool have always been reluctant to spend big in the January window. The sole acquisition of Takumi Minamino for £7.25 million from Red Bull Salzburg last season showed that.

However, there is a growing realisation that Matip cannot be expected to stay injury-free— with Liverpool one defensive setback away from having their title challenge seriously derailed.

The fact is, the unreliable nature of Matip may leave Liverpool with no choice but to turn to the transfer market next month.

Jamie Carragher on Liverpool’s Injuries

When asked about the situation, Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports: “It is a massive worry but it is not a new worry.

“That is why it is paramount Liverpool sign someone in January. I said that as soon as Virgil van Dijk had his injury. Fabinho has looked like a top-class centre-back, but Matip is just too injury prone. His body just can’t take the rigours of playing in the Premier League week in, week out.

“I still believe Liverpool are the best team in the league even without Van Dijk. The only way they don’t win it is if they have problems at centre-back where Rhys Williams or Nat Phillips have to play for a prolonged period. It’s not a position for young players. At times they will make mistakes because they are young and learning.

“Liverpool need someone there to make sure that they don’t end up with two young lads playing there for five or six weeks if, say, Fabinho went down injured.

“They have to do something in January.”

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