Liverpool to splash the cash on new centre back after fresh injury to young star
Liverpool will be forced into the transfer market for another centre-half following an untimely injury setback to youngster Joe Gomez.
Gomez was hoping to step up his return from a cruciate knee injury during the pre-season, but his recovery has been temporarily curtailed by an Achilles problem.
The England Under 21 international has yet to play under Jurgen Klopp having been injured playing for his country last October.
As yet, there is no timescale on how long the 19-year-old will be absent. Liverpool hope it will be weeks rather than months, but it means Klopp’s defensive options are limited.
Martin Skrtel’s £5.5 million sale to Fenerbahce went through on Thursday, while Kolo Toure was released at the end of last season.
Although Mamadou Sakho is free to continue his career after being cleared of doping allegations, he too has an Achilles injury which will keep him out of the start of the season.
That leaves only Dejan Lovren and new signing Joel Matip as senior centre-halves until Klopp makes further additions.
Matip, who joined on a free transfer from Schalke, has featured in both warm-up games so far.
The 24-year-old has also been nursing an ankle injury but is sure he will be 100 per cent at the start of the season.
“Two years ago I had some screws in my right foot, because it was broken. I had an operation to have them out at the end of the season so for a few weeks I had to go on crutches,” said Matip.
“But now I can play and in a few weeks before the season starts I will be back to full level. I am not quite at the level in jumping, but I will be ready for the start of the season.”
Matip says his game is well equipped for the physicality of English football.
“I am very good under high balls, especially at corners and set pieces,” he said.
“The Premier League is much more physical and I will have to adapt a little bit because the style of play is a little different. But I have enough self confidence to say that I am good enough for it.
“I had 16 years at Schalke, it was my hometown club I grew up there my whole life and it was a big decision to leave. It wasn't easy to leave. But it was an easy decision to decide to join Liverpool.
“When I was a child I wanted to play the Premier League and Liverpool was a great and famous club that everybody knows, so it was a great honour to be playing for them.
“I had a decision to stay at Schalke or go out in to the world and I am happy with the decision I made.”