Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been warned Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are not in the 'same class' as Virgil van Dijk, who will be out for several months through injury.
Van Dijk suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury after a late tackle by Jordan Pickford in last weekend's 2-2 Merseyside derby with Everton.
Without arguably the best central defender in the world, Klopp is forced to rely on Gomez, Matip and Fabinho for the rest of the season.
On Wednesday, Gomez and Fabinho proved to be a solid partnership in the 1-0 win over Ajax in the Champions League but tougher tests are still to come.
But former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes the loss of Van Dijk poses a major problem for Klopp.
"I think Liverpool ’s players need to get together now and show they can cope," he told the Daily Star.
"If they start losing games people are going to accuse them of being a one-man team.
Get the latest news straight into your inbox!
It has been a hectic season so far – so make sure you don't miss a single thing by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!
All the latest transfer news and big stories will land straight into your inbox. You won't miss out.
To sign up, put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.
"Van Dijk is the best defender in the business. But if you want to be one of the best teams in the world you have to be able to show you can cope without one player.
"They are going to have to adjust how they attack because before they would press so aggressively and sometimes leave themselves two-on-two at the back.
"That’s okay when you’ve got Van Dijk but Joe Gomez and Joel Matip aren’t in the same class. I would play Fabinho ahead of both of them but even then it’s not the same.
"They should go and get a defender in January and not just a cheap one who can fill in but someone who can play alongside Van Dijk when he comes back."
Source: Read Full Article