Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson thinks a current Premier League star is capable of filling the boots of Virgil van Dijk, while he recovers from injury. Lawrenson has advised Liverpool to target Wolverhampton Wanderers center-back Conor Coady.
Lawrenson labeled Coady as a 'ready-made' replacement for Virgil van Dijk. The Liverpool center-half has been ruled out of action for the rest of the season after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the 2-2 draw against Everton.
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford escaped punishment for the dangerous tackle, which left van Dijk writhing on the pitch in agony in the first half at Goodison Park. Van Dijk will now have to undergo surgery before beginning a lengthy rehabilitation programme, which will most likely see him miss the remainder of the season.
The loss of Virgil van Dijk has left Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in a difficult predicament. The German tactician currently has only two senior center-backs in his squad in Joe Gomez and Joel Matip. Klopp has resorted to playing defensive midfielder Fabinho as a centre-back in recent weeks.
Former Liverpool player Mark Lawrenson has suggested the club sign Conor Coady as a replacement for van Dijk
Lawrenson, who won five league titles and the European Cup at Liverpool between 1981 and 1988, thinks Conor Coady has enough Premier League experience to fill in for van Dijk, having seen the England international prove himself at Wolves since their promotion to the Premier League.
"I think Virgil will be out for the season. I think it's a write-off because you've got to get match fit and that's almost impossible nowadays because they don't play reserve team football," said Lawrenson to The Argus.
"If Liverpool are going to pay big money for somebody in January, they will want an absolutely ready-made player. Conor Coady is a very good organiser who has played lots of games in the Premier League," said Lawrenson.
Brighton defender Ben White is a player that has been linked with a move to Liverpool in recent weeks. White was one of the standout players at Leeds United in the Championship last season but has just begun his first full season in the top flight.
Lawrenson is not sure whether Ben White is ready to make the switch to a club of Liverpool's size just yet but can imagine Jurgen Klopp grooming a 23-year-old who has a bright future ahead of him.
" Maybe it might be a bit early for Ben. Would you spend that money thinking he might be ready in 18 months? I'm not sure," opined Lawrenson.
"But the great thing for the lad is that he is going to have a fabulous future. It wouldn't surprise me if, 18 months or two years down the line, he goes somewhere big, in inverted commas. Whether it is Liverpool remains to be seen, the one thing with Klopp is he doesn't give a damn how old you are," said Lawrenson.
Liverpool have the option of signing free agents at the moment but will have to wait till January if they are to sign Conor Coady or Ben White.Published 26 Oct 2020, 20:30 IST