Liverpool must go back to basics and keep things ‘simple’ if they are to cope with their injury crisis in defence, says Steve Nicol.
Fabinho was the latest to be forced off through injury as he suffered a hamstring problem in the 2-0 win over Midtjylland on Tuesday night.
The Brazilian was filling in for talisman Virgil van Dijk, who is set to miss the majority of the season with a serious knee ligament injury picked up in the Merseyside derby.
After the game, Jurgen Klopp revealed Fabinho will have a scan to assess the damage.
‘Losing Fabinho is exactly the last thing we needed,’ the German boss said.
‘Fabinho felt his hamstring – he said he could have played on but couldn’t make any more sprints. He has to have a scan.’
With Joel Matip also missing the Midtjylland clash with a knock, Joe Gomez and academy product Rhys Williams – who came on as a substitute for the injured Fabinho in the first-half – are the only options Klopp has left at centre-back.
Reds hero Nicol urged his former side to take ‘no chances’ in their backline and admitted Gomez will need to step up immediately.
‘I think we should try and get [Dejan] Lovren back on loan, maybe that would solve the problem, [Mamadou] Sakho’s not getting a game for Palace either,’ Nicol joked on ESPN FC.
‘We’re basically down to Rhys Williams who’s not even a centre-back. It’s just backs-to-the-wall time.
‘Joe Gomez is going to have to take the burden of that because he’s the only recognised centre-back really left. I can’t imagine Matip being fit again before at least this time next year, because he never is.
‘Joe Gomez is going to have to grow up very quickly in this next couple of weeks.’