Liverpool is unlikely to sign in January a central defender as cover at the Premier League club amid an injury crisis, with the COVID-19 pandemic also not making it a financially viable option, manager Jurgen Klopp said on Thursday.
Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip are all sidelined by injuries from Liverpool’s three main center backs and Klopp was forced to play midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in defense in Southampton’s 1-0 loss on Monday.
The German coach, however, said a short-term solution would not help and he would look for options within the squad.
Klopp told reporters ahead of Friday’s FA Cup third-round tie at Aston Villa, “I definitely can’t say we’re not going to bring someone in, just probably not because of the world situation. For all individuals and football clubs, it’s a tough one. There are no financial issues for some clubs, but this club will always be very responsible for the things we do.
If the world was in a normal place and three senior center-backs were injured, is that a situation where something would be done? Usually, yes. But it’s not… it’s not the best time for the planet as a whole, so why would it be for a football club? ”
In their last three games, League leaders Liverpool dropped seven points with second-placed Manchester United on points with a game in hand.
On Jan. 17, Liverpool welcomed United to Anfield, but Klopp said he wouldn’t look at rotating too much against Villa.
“The FA Cup is important,” he said.
“So far, we have not gone far. Not blessed with spectacular draws, Villa is also tough now. We need to find a team balance that we haven’t changed too much, and we need some new legs. For us, the opponent is too strong. Between this and Manchester United, we have eight days.”
Klopp said midfielder Naby Keita wouldn’t be fit to face Villa in time while Diogo Jota is still wearing a knee brace forward and is “weeks away” from going back to training.