Jamie Carragher has called on Liverpool to sign a replacement for Virgil van Dijk in the January transfer window.
The Netherlands international will be out of action for several months after suffering an ACL injury in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Everton.
And Carragher thinks Van Dijk’s extended absence is a major boost to Liverpool’s Premier League title rivals.
“The big question is: can Liverpool win the league without Van Dijk there? Every team has three or four players in every title-winning team and if one of those players is missing, no matter how good your manager is, no matter how big your squad is, you can't cover for them,” Carragher told Sky Sports.
“I think it blows the title race wide open. I felt at the start of the season that Liverpool were the team to beat and with Van Dijk being out for what looks like the whole season now, I think it's going to be all on for Liverpool.
“Liverpool certainly have to go into the market in January, not just because of Van Dijk's injury. They were weak in that area anyway - they'd lost [Dejan] Lovren before the start of the season - and the other players who are in those positions are very injury-prone.
“For Liverpool right away it's: who can we get in? I know the transfer window's just finished, but they have to be ready in January to bring someone in. It could stop going on to achieve what they want to achieve.”
Fellow Sky pundit Graeme Souness echoed Carragher’s thoughts and expressed his concern about Liverpool’s ability to cope with his absence.
“If you were to ask me at the start of the season, who's the one player you don't want to miss a large chunk of the season… people might say Sadio Mane, people might say Mohamed Salah… for me it's Van Dijk,” he said.
“Liverpool still have enough goals in the team to do it without one of those two. But at the back he's the catalyst for everything they do. From getting up the field to holding the line when it's the correct time to hold it, dropping off when it's the right time to drop off. It's a major blow. It's the last thing Liverpool needed.”
Klopp’s side return to action on Wednesday with a trip to Amsterdam to face Ajax in the Champions League.
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