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Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho: Who are the younger Liverpool gamers to cowl injured duo? | Football News

Virgil van Dijk’s long-term damage has given Jurgen Klopp a lot to ponder when it comes to his picks at centre-back over the approaching weeks, and with Fabinho additionally going off on Tuesday evening in opposition to Midtjylland, he could have to show to youth.

Fabinho had began the three video games following Van Dijk’s damage, however the Brazilian went off within the 2-Zero win over Midtjylland with what seemed like a hamstring damage.

It is unclear whether or not Joel Matip could have recovered from a muscle damage to play in opposition to West Ham at Anfield on Saturday, however when he returns, Matip and Joe Gomez are set to be Liverpool’s first-choice pairing. Nevertheless, Dejan Lovren’s departure in the summertime leaves the membership quick on skilled options.

Fabinho was compelled off within the first half on Tuesday evening

With Premier League and Champions League video games coming thick and quick over the following month or so on this condensed season, Klopp admitted on Tuesday he would wish to dip into Liverpool’s academy to bolster his backline.

“We have very young and inexperienced alternatives and at the moment it looks like we have to choose one of them.”

Here, we take a look at among the standout younger defenders in Liverpool’s ranks…

Liverpool’s upcoming video games

  • Oct 31: West Ham (h)
  • Nov 3: Atalanta (a)
  • Nov 7: Man City (a)
  • Nov 25: Atalanta (h)
  • Nov 28: Brighton (a)
  • Dec 1: Ajax (h)
  • Dec 5: Wolves (h)
  • Dec 9: Midtjylland (a)
  • Dec 12: Fulham (a)

Rhys Williams

Rhys Williams replaced Fabinho against Midtjylland on Tuesday night
Williams changed Fabinho in opposition to Midtjylland on Tuesday evening

If Liverpool are to look to their youth ranks for canopy at centre-back, it appears Rhys Williams is more likely to be the primary participant Klopp would flip to. The 19-year-old, who changed Fabinho on Tuesday evening in opposition to Midtjylland, made his Liverpool debut in September, beginning alongside Van Dijk after which being partnered with Fabinho within the second half, because the Reds beat Lincoln 7-2 within the Carabao Cup, and performed once more within the defeat to Arsenal within the subsequent spherical.

Part of Liverpool’s 2019 FA Youth Cup-winning aspect, Williams signed a five-year contract earlier in 2020, underlining the membership’s perception in his potential.

Williams – who has confessed to finding out Van Dijk’s performances and post-match evaluation of the Dutchman’s shows – had a mortgage spell in non-League final season with Kidderminster Harriers and made his England U21 debut this month.

Against a Midtjylland aspect who not often threatened, Williams eased his approach into motion with a strong show on Tuesday at Anfield. Tougher exams are to come back.

“He did really well,” mentioned Klopp after Tuesday’s sport. “The solely drawback now could be we’ve 4 days till the West Ham sport, you’ll make a narrative of him daily after which he has to show he can take care of that once more. Everything was calm round him. We will strive to do this as nicely.

“To be actually clear and constructive, Rhys was not in a single state of affairs tonight an issue for us, he performed a extremely good sport.”

Sepp van den Berg

Liverpool defender Sepp Van Den Berg signed for the club for an initial £1.3m in June
Van den Berg additionally attracted curiosity from Bayern Munich

Netherlands youth worldwide Sepp van den Berg may be in rivalry. He made 4 first-team appearances for Liverpool final season within the FA Cup and Carabao Cup and travelled with the workforce to the Club World Cup.

However, the 18-year-old – who had additionally attracted curiosity from Bayern Munich when he signed for Liverpool in June 2019 – could now be behind Rhys Williams within the pecking order after lacking out on a Carabao Cup runout this season.

Van den Berg already has some top-flight expertise beneath his belt, having made 22 Eredivisie appearances with former aspect PEC Zwolle. “I am calm with the ball, I am quite quick and can run,” he mentioned on his arrival at Liverpool, who insisted on the time he was not an ‘academy’ signing however a participant they have been trying to develop for the primary workforce.

Nathaniel Phillips

Nathaniel Phillips played 90 minutes in Liverpool's FA Cup win over Everton
Phillips performed 90 minutes in Liverpool’s FA Cup win over Everton

Nat Phillips seemed like he may very well be on his approach to the Championship final week – and now he’s among the many gamers attempting to place themselves in place for a first-team function at Liverpool.

Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest and Swansea have been among the many second-tier sides weighing up a transfer for the 23-year-old however in the end he remained at Anfield to supply additional cowl at centre-back.

Phillips had two mortgage spells at Stuttgart final season, the place he made 19 begins in Bundesliga II, and in between he was recalled by Klopp in December when Matip, Lovren and Fabinho have been all out injured on the identical time.

Klopp mentioned he had been impressed by Phillips’ performances in Germany and he went on to start out the FA Cup win over Everton in January earlier than returning to Stuttgart for the rest of the season.

He will not be at present in Liverpool’s Champions League squad, nevertheless.

Billy Koumetio

At simply 17 years outdated, Billy Koumetio is the youngest participant listed right here – however the Frenchman is very rated at Liverpool.

He signed his first skilled contract in August and went on to impress Klopp and his team-mates throughout pre-season. However, a troublesome afternoon in a pleasant at Blackpool could counsel it’s too quickly for him to step into the fold.

Koumetio was dispossessed for Blackpool’s first purpose and performed an attacker onside within the build-up to them successful a penalty for his or her second earlier than he was changed at half-time. Liverpool bounced again to win 7-2 and afterwards Klopp conceded the defender nonetheless had issues to study – however backed him to enhance.

“I’m pretty sure he will make big steps,” mentioned Klopp this summer time. “We just have to make sure that we really deal with his age group and physical demands well.” But for an ill-timed damage he could nicely have figured within the Carabao Cup this season. For now although, he’s nonetheless to make his aggressive first-team debut.

Koumetio, out for part of final season with damage, will quickly be again in Liverpool coaching after additionally struggling a latest knock.

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