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Joe Gomez injury: 3 solutions for Liverpool’s central defensive woes 

Joe Gomez is set for a spell on the sidelines
Joe Gomez is set for a spell on the sidelines
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 11 Nov 2020, 21:14 IST
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Liverpool center-back Joe Gomez today picked up an injury on international duty with England.

According to The Telegraph, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to answer specific questions about Gomez's injury late on Wednesday evening. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be sweating over the seriousness of the injury, having already lost Virgil van Dijk for the season.

The Telegraph are also reporting that Gomez is concerned about the injury and that it could keep him out for some time.

Trent Alexander-Arnold also picked up an injury in the 1-1 Premier League draw against Manchester City on Sunday. If Gomez's injury keeps him out for a period of time, Liverpool will be seriously stretched for defensive resources, with the traditionally congested December fixtures approaching.

We now take a look at three options that Liverpool have, until the January transfer window opens, to replace Gomez in their side. Joel Matip, when fit, will be an unquestionable starter now, but Klopp might have an issue with naming Matip's partner.


Options for Liverpool to replace Joe Gomez

#1 Fabinho

Liverpool FC v FC Midtjylland: Group D - UEFA Champions League
Liverpool FC v FC Midtjylland: Group D - UEFA Champions League
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When Virgil van Dijk got injured against Everton, and Matip ruled out for the subsequent games, Fabinho was Klopp's immediate choice to partner Gomez at the back. The Brazilian himself picked up a hamstring injury in the 2-0 UEFA Champions League win over Midtjylland. He is expected to return to action for Liverpool after the international break.

Fabinho and Matip did play together for Liverpool in their Champions League Round of 16 first leg against Bayern Munich in the 2018-19 season and kept a clean sheet as well.

But with games coming up once in three days for Liverpool, Klopp is likely to want to rotate his pack more, which means he would need more options than just Fabinho.


#2 Nat Phillips

Nat Phillips (center) made his Premier League debut against West Ham
Nat Phillips (center) made his Premier League debut against West Ham

Phillips made his Premier League debut for Liverpool a couple of weeks ago in a home win against West Ham United and was Man of the Match in that game. The 23-year-old was set to be let go of by Liverpool in the summer transfer window, but a move away didn't materialize for him.

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Phillips, against West Ham, showed his aerial prowess, although he came up against an out-of-form Sebastian Haller, who couldn't impact that game for West Ham.

Phillips will still have questions asked about his ability to deal with mobile strikers, such as Jamie Vardy, who Liverpool face next in the Premier League, with Leicester visiting Anfield straight after the international break.


#3 Rhys Williams

Rhys Williams has featured in each of Liverpool
Rhys Williams has featured in each of Liverpool's three Champions league games this season

Young Rhys Williams was playing non-league football last season for Kidderminster Harriers and has been thrust into the limelight already this year, already making appearances in each of Liverpool's three Champions League games so far.

Williams started alongside Gomez in the match against Atalanta. So far, he has given a good account of himself, being strong in aerial duels and also showing signs of reading play well.

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Klopp has stressed how he was wary of exposing Williams too much too early in his career, but at this stage, the Liverpool manager might not have a choice.


Published 11 Nov 2020, 21:14 IST
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