John Barnes has warned Liverpool against making a knee-jerk decision and signing a new centre-back in the January window despite the serious injuries sustained by Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
The Premier League champions will be without their title-winning defensive partnership for much of the rest of the season, with Gomez having undergone surgery after injuring his tendon while on international duty.
Gomez’s setback follows the ACL injury Van Dijk sustained after a rash challenge from Everton’s Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby, with the Dutchman not expected to play again until the 2021/22 season.
In their absence, Jurgen Klopp is likely to rely on Joel Matip and Fabinho – who himself has a minor injury niggle – while youngers Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips have also performed well when called upon.
With plenty of options still at his disposal, former Liverpool attacker Barnes does not believe Klopp should be in any rush to sign a new centre-back in January – particularly with few players of the required quality likely to be available.
‘There is no point going big on transfers in January,’ said Barnes, who was speaking to BonusCodeBets.
‘All the players that Liverpool ought to be targeting are still playing Champions League football for their clubs, so they won’t move.
‘However, if Liverpool are able to attract that sort of player, regardless of van Dijk’s injury then they absolutely should do everything to get him.
‘There is no one else out there currently like him [Virgil van Dijk], it is all well and good saying “a player like” but that replacement has to be identified and shown to have proven quality.’
Despite being linked with the likes of RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Bayern Munich star David Alaba, Liverpool are believed to have decided to hold fire on signing a new centre-back in January unless their form plummets or they are hit by yet more injuries to their backline.