Mark Lawrenson has stated that he’s concerned about defender Joel Matip, who has become so important to Liverpool after a double injury blow.
The Reds are without both of last season’s centre-back pairing in Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, with both set for extended periods of time on the sidelines through injury.
That leaves Matip as the only other senior centre-back in the first-team squad, albeit there is stand-in defender Fabinho that can play there, as well as inexperienced duo Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.
Former Liverpool defender Lawrenson has mentioned his concern when it comes to the reliability of Matip.
The 6ft 5in colossus is a commanding defender that has rarely let the team down since he joined back in 2016 and is fairly underrated across the division.
But the £100,000-a-week star (Spotrac) has had a number of separate injury problems during his time at Anfield and he’s only recently returned from his latest niggle.
“And Matip is a decent player but he’s like a willow tree; he occasionally gets blown over and he’s not fit for two or three weeks, so he’s another worry,” Lawrenson told talkSPORT.
Matip can be a great solution to Liverpool’s shortage at centre-half if he can stay fit, but it’s not a sign that he’s failed to play 40-plus games in a single season for the Merseyside club.
The Cameroon international only managed 13 appearances across the entire 2019/20 season and Reds supporters will be crossing their fingers that he can now stay fit following his latest injury return.
It’s a big test to see how manager Jurgen Klopp deals with his unfortunate setback and Fabinho seems the most likely centre-back partner for Matip, but perhaps he will need to dip into the January market.
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