Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he is not thinking about the January transfer window despite an injury crisis which is worsening by the week.
England internationals Joe Gomez (knee) and Jordan Henderson (thigh) were the latest to be added to the list in the last few days, the former potentially being ruled out for the rest of the season.
With Virgil Van Dijk and now Gomez sustaining serious injuries Klopp is again down to one senior centre-back in Joel Matip, who has a chequered injury record himself, while Trent Alexander-Arnold’s continued absence with a calf problem means Klopp will be able to field only one of his first-choice back four against Premier League leaders Leicester on Sunday.
The Reds boss is also waiting for the return of midfielders Fabinho, who can also play in the centre and right of defence, Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while youngsters Rhys Williams and Neco Williams are also injury doubts this weekend and Mohamed Salah has tested positive for Covid-19 to take the unavailable list potentially into double figures.
“If we can do something in January I have no idea. If we want to do something in January I have no idea. We’ll just have to see,” said Klopp on whether he has to dip into the transfer market.
“That we look for solutions and the transfer market – that is clear – but in the moment we have the situation we have.
“I don’t want to compare situations but when I came to Dortmund in 2008 my two centre-halves were 19 and turned 20 that winter and we played with them for that entire time. Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic.
“We have talent here. They are young – 18, 19, 23 – and we have more experienced players, so we will see. Everybody has a chance.
“They can smell the chance and they step up. They want to show they are ready and we will see.
“We have midfielders – not in the moment but hopefully in a couple of weeks – who can play the more defensive role as well. For the moment we are fine.
“I’m really confident it will work out with the boys and then hopefully we can convince the rest of the world as well.”
Fabinho has a chance of being fit for Sunday after returning to training but the wait appears to be going on for Thiago, the summer signing who so energised the fanbase following his arrival from Bayern Munich.
The Spain international played just 135 minutes in two appearances before sustaining a knee injury in last month’s Merseyside derby – overshadowed by the anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained by Virgil Van Dijk in the same match – and his return is taking longer than expected.
When it was suggested supporters are desperate to see the world-class midfielder back in action Klopp replied: “So am I. I cannot change these things. We have to deal with the consequences of injuries, of the accidents, the fouls or whatever.
“If he could have played before he would have played before but he couldn’t but he is out there on the pitch running, doing a lot of stuff, and it will not be too long any more.
“In the beginning we got the horrible pictures from Virgil and were kind of relieved it’s not that serious for Thiago, but it was always clear it wouldn’t be two or three days.
“At first we thought it would settle quickly but it didn’t and that’s what you have to accept. We will not rush it. We prepare him for the rest of the season, not for the first game he can play again.
“Players have to train in the big sessions with the team, and not only once.
“Fabinho was part of that and what we make of that I don’t know yet because I don’t know how he reacts but Fabinho was part of normal team training.”