Virgil van Dijk set to see specialist over hamstring injury as Liverpool concerns grow

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Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk will see a specialist about his hamstring injury as his club wait to discover if they will be without the Dutchman for a considerable period of time.

The Reds’ defender was one of three substitutions made at half-time by Jurgen Klopp against Brentford, with the Reds trailing by two goals at the time in an eventual 3-1 defeat.

But Van Dijk’s departure, at least, proved to be the result of a fitness worry which Jurgen Klopp described as a precautionary move as the No.4 was willing to play on.

However, there are fears his injury is worse than initially expected as Liverpool could face defining games in their quest for a top-four finish without the £75 million man.

Liverpool, who sit sixth in the Premier League table after a hugely inconsistent season, have struggled badly from a defensive viewpoint this season and injuries have been an issue all year.

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In contrast to 2020/21 when Klopp was without all his senior centre-backs through injury, most of those this term have come higher up the pitch.

Forwards Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz all remain sidelined, while James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Arthur Melo are missing in midfield. The likes of Naby Keita and Andy Robertson have also been out at times, while centre-back Ibrahima Konate has played only three times in the league this season due to injury.

It is Konate who will now likely fill in for Van Dijk as the left-sided centre-back, though the World Cup finalist was out of sorts himself against the Bees, scoring an own goal and being dispossessed for the third in that loss.

Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips are Liverpool’s other central defensive options, though the more pressing concern for Klopp will be the loss of his main organiser in the back line at a time when the Reds have been repeatedly cut apart by teams playing through the centre.

While it has been expected the Anfield club would add a midfielder in the January transfer window to help solve their off-the-ball woes, their first addition was the surprise signing of Dutch attacker Cody Gakpo, who is likely make his debut in the FA Cup against Wolves.

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