The Dutchman sustained an Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear after a nasty challenge from Jordan Pickford in Liverpool’s draw with Everton on Saturday and he could miss up to nine months of action.
Van Dijk’s injury comes at the worst possible time as the transfer window has just closed, meaning Liverpool’s solutions most come from within before the January window gives them an opportunity to assess their options.
The club were reluctant to spend big this summer because of the financial climate but Van Dijk’s importance to the side means the club are likely to enter the market to find a replacement in January.
Carragher says the club should already being lining up a move and he believes the Reds should look at Manchester United target Upamecano.
‘There’s a young guy that everyone’s talking about – there’s one – that’s Upamecano at Leipzig,’ Carragher told Sky Sports.
‘There’s talk of him. He’s not the profile of Van Dijk he’s 6’1 or 6’2 so he’s maybe not that aerial challenger but if that’s the one Liverpool want next summer then bring it forward, pay extra money and do it on January 1st
‘That means Liverpool would only have to get through the next 11 league games without Virgil van Dijk.’
The defender will be available for around £40m next summer due to a release clause in his contract but Liverpool would have to offer substantially more in January to sign him.