When Dejan Lovren left Liverpool in the summer for Zenit St Petersburg, it was with Jurgen Klopp’s blessing.
“Another Liverpool legend who leaves the club, because he was absolutely a very, very important part of this team from the first day since I was in,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com.
“When he was fit, he was very, very, very often in the team. A great player and a great person.
“Really good, in the air a machine, and I really liked working together with him.”
Despite the occasional error, the Croatian was a decent, experienced option to have in the squad.
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But with Joe Gomez joining Virgil van Dijk on the long-term injury list, Klopp can no longer call upon Lovren.
The Liverpool boss will be rueing his luck but also wondering whether he made a mistake not replacing Lovren.
Speaking in September, he shrugged off the possibility of being short-handed in defence.
He said: “The situation is obvious, we have a lot of centre-backs, pretty much all of them apart from the three we had last year are all pretty young, which is good.
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“A lot of space for development and they all did well; Sepp [van den Berg] did well, Ki-Jana [Hoever] prefers right-back but did well, Billy [Koumetio] did really well considering his age especially, and Nat Phillips came back from Stuttgart full of confidence.
“But Fabinho can play it as well, he did it against Bayern in the Champions League once. It worked pretty well because he is a smart player.
“How it is with the squad, you have to find a solution and you want to prepare for all possible problems during the season and can’t, that’s what we have to accept every year. We will have solutions in specific moments.
“With four senior centre-halves, we played in Qatar with Jordan Henderson on that position and without Fabinho in as well.
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“Be ready for a creative solution in the right moments but hope that it will never come up.”
In January, clubs can take advantage of Liverpool’s desperation for a new defender.
But the opportunity to play for the Reds is not a chance afforded to every player and it could lead to a big name arrival.
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