Most Liverpool fans believe signing a central defender to cover for Virgil van Dijk’s lengthy absence is an absolute priority…
Without the legendary Dutchman, Liverpool have Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Fabinho as experienced first-team options, although the latter is really a central midfielder.
We also have Rhys Williams, excellent so far, and Nat Phillips, Man of the Match on Premier League debut v West Ham.
On paper, this seems like just about enough, but the issue really surrounds the fitness of Matip, and the fact the excellent Cameroonian has a shocking injury record over the past 12 months.
With Fabinho also out with a hamstring, Williams and Phillips have been afforded opportunities they would not have got otherwise, and have done well.
James Pearce has suggested that if Matip and Fabinho can stay fit – and Williams especially proves to be a serious talent – the need for a new defender in January might not be there.
“LFC are assessing their options ahead of January but I’ve been told it’s too soon to say whether they will buy anyone. A lot of games between now and then. If Rhys Williams keeps on delivering, Matip stays fit and VVD’s rehab goes well then of course the need to sign another CB will be reduced,” he told an Athletic Q&A.
Ideally, Liverpool won’t sign anyone – as this will mean we’ve navigated the next two months without the need for another body.
But this depends really on the success of Williams and Phillips. The former though has a higher ceiling and is someone who has the ball-playing skills to make it to the very top.