Liverpool’s defensive injury issues become crisis with further setbacks

Liverpool’s defensive injury situation has officially become a crisis, with Joe Gomez facing further surgery and Dejan Lovren suffering another setback.

On Friday, Jurgen Klopp had ruled Gomez out for at least the next couple of weeks – including the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich, a match which Virgil van Dijk is suspended for.

And on Friday evening it emerged that Gomez, who was initially due to return from a broken leg in mid-January could now face another operation after suffering several setbacks upon his return.

Klopp has admitted that the 21-year-old defender now “probably” faces further treatment.

“Does he need an operation? I don’t know. We will see. It is possible, probably,” admitted Klopp.

And in a further blow, it has emerged that Dejan Lovren will miss Monday’s trip to West Ham after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring issue.

Lovren has been injury plagued throughout the last three seasons and only returned to the squad earlier in the week against Leicester City when he was an unused sub.

Meanwhile, Trent Alexander-Arnold will also miss Monday’s match, meaning James Milner is likely to deputise again at right-back.

Alexander-Arnold should return for next week’s home game against Bournemouth.

Joel Matip and Van Dijk are the only fit and available centre-backs.

Bournemouth's Nathaniel Clyne (Image: Mark Kerton/PA Wire. )

The injury issues are a major blow for Liverpool and put Klopp’s decision to loan Nathaniel Clyne to Bournemouth early in the January transfer window further in question.

But Klopp says he does not regret the decision, saying: “I can imagine people think that but I don’t think about it,.

“In the moment we did it there were different reasons. Then an hour later people could say ‘why did you do that?’

“Milly got suspended and Trent injured or the other way around. Is that perfect? I don’t think so.

“You make the decision in the moment you have to and then people judge it later.

“Hendo did well there. We all know how good Clyney is, but would he have had more offensive influence in the game? I don’t know. Defensively, I did not see a mistake from Hendo.”

Supporters though, may say that it would have made a lot more sense to have judged the Clyne situation at the end of the month rather than the beginning before allowing him to leave – by which point the situation had changed and therefore the decision been different.

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