Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has played down the likelihood he will utilise the January transfer window to ease his problems in central defence – but did drop the smallest hint he could look to spend.
However, Klopp’s assertion “not all clubs have real money” and “doing ‘something’ makes no sense” suggests the Reds boss is happy to continue with the options he has at his disposal. That is, unless, a gilt-edged opportunity arises.
Liverpool currently have no fit senior centre-backs. Both Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez are long-term absentees with serious knee injuries. Joel Matip, meanwhile, is sidelined for three weeks with a groin problem.
Fabinho has had to play the majority of the games in defence to cover. Klopp, meanwhile, has relied on rookies Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips. The latter’s only appearance before this season was a solitary FA Cup tie a year ago. That came when he was recalled from a loan spell at Stuttgart specifically to play.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said it was “paramount” they signed a centre-back this month.
Klopp, however, is reluctant to spend just for the sake of it.
“We have solutions in the squad obviously but we struggled still with injuries,” said Klopp.
“For most of the time with centre-half position. It can happen like this when it starts and does not stop.
“So we have solutions in the squad, and if we can, or if we will do something in the winter, I just don’t know.
“It is a very difficult transfer window as you can imagine. Not all of the clubs have real money.
“Doing something makes no sense. Doing the right thing makes sense. So far we have really liked what we have done.
“I liked Nat (in Wednesday’s goalless draw at Newcastle).
“He is a clever boy and knows about his ability and is using it and doing the job and helped us a lot.
“We have three centre-halves and if Rhys had played Nat would not have played for five or six weeks. He needed to get this out of his system.”
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Thiago the ‘Joker’ for Liverpool
Either Phillips or Williams will partner Fabinho again at Southampton on Monday. Another rarely-seen player, Thiago Alcantara, could be given only his second start of the campaign.
At Newcastle the Spain international made his comeback from a knee problem after more than two months out. His creativity will offer Klopp a different option in midfield.
“He played 20 minutes for us which is special. He had only had two sessions with the team and for one of those, he was the ‘joker’,” he added.
“I am not sure you can count that but the game (at Newcastle) was the opportunity to do it and it was about creating, which is his best skill.
“We will see (if he starts). He has a chance.
“Honestly, the boys who did the job so far did exceptionally well. So it is not we cannot survive if he does not start the next game but it is very good he is now fit and is obviously in contention. I like that a lot.”
READ MORE: Klopp stops short of promising Van Dijk update; warns of injury ‘facts’