Jamie Carragher has responded to Jurgen Klopp after the Liverpool manager took a swipe at the Sky Sports pundit following the injury to Virgil van Dijk at the weekend.
Klopp appeared to take exception with the suggestion that Liverpool needed another defender in the summer transfer window, having lost Van Dijk to a serious knee injury that is set to see him miss the majority of the 2020/21 season, if not all of it.
With Van Dijk undergoing surgery on a damaged Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his right knee, Klopp is left with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip as his natural centre-back options, with midfielder Fabinho set to provide cover in the Dutchman’s absence. Eighteen-year-old Sepp van den Berg is another option, although the youngster is yet to make his Premier League debut after being limited to four cup appearances for the first team last season.
With Liverpool focusing on their Champions League commitments this week as they take on Ajax in their opening group stage match, Klopp grew agitated with the repeated questioning of Van Dijk’s absence and other subjects that did not surround the fixture itself, resulting in snapped response aimed in Carragher’s direction after being asked whether he regrets not adding another centre-back in the transfer market.
“We went into the season with three centre-backs plus Fabinho as cover and some youngsters,” Klopp said.
“It’s hard to have four world-class centre-halves. If anyone wants to tell us we made a mistake, I think Carragher mentioned it already. There are a few reasons why they don’t do this job…”
The jibe appeared to be a response to Carragher’s comments on Monday, which revolved around the reigning Premier League champions moving for a new defender in January rather than in the transfer window which has just passed.
It triggered a response from Carragher on Twitter, who was quick to point out that Klopp was mistaken as he has been of the same opinion as the manager himself.
“Not once this season have I said it was a mistake for Klopp not to buy a CB for the exact reason he states,” Carragher said.
The former Liverpool and England defender spoke at length on Monday night of the club’s problems without Van Dijk, which should bring forward their plans to reinforce at the back as they had planned next summer.
“Liverpool’s next signing had to be a centre-back next summer anyway,” Carragher said.
“That was the next one, that has to be brought forward to 1st January – not the end of the month.
“(Dayot) Upamecano, at RB Leipzig, there’s talk of him. He’s not the profile of Van Dijk. But that’s the one Liverpool wanted next summer.
“Bring it forward, pay the extra money and do it on 1 January. That means Liverpool have to get through the next 11 league games without Van Dijk. They have to go big in terms of a signing.”
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