Joel Matip vs. Tranmere Rovers. Credit: Propaganda

Liverpool’s centre-back problems continue as Joel Matip limps off vs. Wigan

Liverpool’s centre-back concerns continued as Joel Matip hobbled off in the closing stages of their 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic on Sunday.

The Reds cruised to victory over Gary Caldwell’s side with goals coming from Danny Ings and Ben Woodburn, sealing a third consecutive pre-season triumph.

Jurgen Klopp continued his approach to rotation at the DW Stadium, but was only able to make eight changes to his side at half-time due to injury to Alberto Moreno and Brad Smith and Marko Grujic‘s illness.

This saw the German leave Matip, Loris Karius and Connor Randall on for the second half, and the 24-year-old was forced off shortly before full-time after suffering an ankle injury.

Matip consulted Liverpool’s medical staff before heading down the tunnel for treatment, provoking fears of further problems at the back for Klopp.

However, speaking to reporters after the game, Klopp reiterated that it was “not too serious.”

The manager said that his new signing has a “little problem with his ankle.”

Matip underwent surgery this summer to remove a screw in his ankle from a previous injury, and it is likely that his withdrawal was related to this and playing over 45 minutes for the first time.

Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez are both set to miss the start of the 2016/17 season with heel injuries, while Tiago Ilori will join up with the Portugal U23s squad for the Olympics towards the end of June.

This would leave Klopp with just two fit senior centre-backs in Dejan Lovren and Andre Wisdom, with the latter expected to leave the club this summer.

Klopp will be hoping that Matip’s injury is only a minor problem, but he is already looking to the transfer market to cover for the absences of Sakho and Gomez.

With just three days to go before Liverpool’s next pre-season clash away to Huddersfield Town, however, Klopp could be left without one of his first-choice centre-backs at a crucial time.

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