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Jurgen Klopp

Matip out for the rest of the season – what do Liverpool do now?

Liverpool defender Joel Matip suffered a season-ending injury during their nail-biting 4-3 win over Fulham last weekend to hand a massive blow to manager Jurgen Klopp.

After Liverpool’s victory over Sheffield United yesterday night, Klopp confirmed that Matip has torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

The German manager is now without crucial defensive pillars Andy Robertson, Alisson Becker and Matip as they challenge for the Premier League title.

Matip had been starting alongside Virgil van Dijk at the heart of Liverpool’s defence.

The 32-year-old has been imperious for the Reds, winning 61% of his duels while displaying his ability to bring the ball out from the back.

However, with the fixture-filled festive season on the horizon, the former Cameroon international has been sidelined, leaving a gaping hole at the back for Liverpool.

Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate are the primary options to replace Matip.

Konate started alongside Van Dijk as Liverpool welcomed Chris Wilder back to the Premier League with a 2-0 defeat.

The Frenchman won 19 out of 24 duels while completing 82% of his passes against the Blades.

Gomez has been deputising across the defensive line for Liverpool and will likely continue that role in the coming weeks.

He played as a left-back against United with Kostas Tsimikas on the bench after previously deputising as a right-back to allow Trent Alexander-Arnold to move into midfield.

Gomez could finally get playing time in his natural position at centre-back soon.

With Matip in the final year of his contract with the Merseyside club, they should be in the market for a new defender in January.

Liverpool need a right-back to allow Alexander-Arnold to move into midfield. They also need a centre-back to reinforce their rearguard. 

The Reds have been linked with several players including Southampton’s Armel Bella-Kotchap and Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi, but there have been no concrete links.

Expect that to change as we approach the winter window, with Klopp aiming to bolster his squad as they chase domestic and European glory.

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