Liverpool's 5 contenders to replace Virgil van Dijk if injury fears confirmed

6 days ago 24

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Jurgen Klopp may have an unwanted decision to make over the next few weeks after Saturday's fiercely-contested draw against Everton.

Virgil van Dijk faces an anxious wait to discover the severity of his injury, picked up as he found himself on the receiving end of a horror challenge from Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

The Dutch defender has been arguably the first name on the team sheet for some time, and his presence will be thoroughly missed should he be forced to endure an extended spell on the sidelines.

So what are Klopp's options as he looks to fill the void?

Liverpool are sweating on an injury to Virgil van Dijk

Fabinho

The most likely fix would be to drop the Brazilian international into the back four as a makeshift centre-half.

He has already played in central defence this season during Liverpool's 2-0 win at Chelsea in September and did not look out of place.

Fabinho has experience dropping into the back four

The 26-year-old has been a valued member of the squad ever since his arrival in 2018 and would surely be the prime candidate, under the current circumstances, to step into the role in van Dijk's absence.

Joe Gomez

Joel Matip returned from injury to take his place in Liverpool's first-choice back four alongside Van Dijk against Everton.

He was joined by Joe Gomez after Van Dijk was withdrawn.

Joe Gomez replaced Van Dijk after his injury

Gomez has had a tough start to the season and come in for criticism but he appears to obvious choice to deputise for Van Dijk during his injury.

He was labelled "outstanding" by Klopp after the game but will hope his own injury problems stay away with Van Dijk sidelined.

Sepp van den Berg

Klopp may even consider bringing youngster van den Berg into the first-team fray.

The lad is highly rated at Anfield and clearly has a bright future ahead of him.

Sepp van den Berg is highly rated at Liverpool

Despite this, he has not yet played a game in the Premier League for the Reds and to thrust him straight into the starting eleven may prove a step too far for the 18-year-old at this early stage in his career.

Billy Koumetio

Another player among the club's youth ranks, Koumetio has generated a buzz since his first taste of first-team involvement during pre-season.

He impressed and was named in the Community Shield squad to face Arsenal at Wembley.

Koumetio is certainly another one for the future

But again, his lack of experience could see him overlooked for an extended place in the Liverpool side.

Nathaniel Phillips

The 23-year-old reportedly caught the eye of a number of Championship clubs over the summer, but any potential loan move ultimately failed to materialise.

Centre-back Nathaniel Phillips is part of Liverpool's first-team squad

For now, he remains at Liverpool where he has made one first-team appearance, playing the full 90 minutes in last season's FA Cup third round victory against local rivals Everton.

It seems highly unlikely that he will be trusted to fill the boots of arguably the best defender currently playing the game, but they do say that anything is possible in football.

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