Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has criticised the Reds’ failure to plan for the signing of a new centre-back this January.

The former Liverpool defender believes the club should have been making preparations for this deal as soon as Virgil van Dijk was injured in the Merseyside Derby back in October.

Liverpool looked in trouble as soon as Van Dijk had to go off in that game and have surgery a couple of days later, with the Netherlands international never looking particularly likely to make it back soon and play a meaningful part in the remainder of this season.

Since then, LFC have also been dealt the blow of losing Joel Matip and Joe Gomez at various points, leaving Jurgen Klopp resorting to using two midfielders – Jordan Henderson and Fabinho – as his central defensive pairing.

Carragher now believes the failure to get a new signing in in defence this winter will likely cost his old club their chance at retaining the title.

“I believe the club’s response should have been activated on October 19, the day Virgil Van Dijk’s cruciate knee operation was confirmed,” Carragher wrote in the Telegraph.

“Hindsight is unnecessary. I said then I did not think Liverpool could win the league unless they had a new centre-back in place on January 1.

“They needed one before Joe Gomez was injured. His and Joel Matip’s appearance record was informative of that.

“Frankly, it is preposterous that three months on and with the transfer window now open, Klopp felt compelled to use Jordan Henderson in the position against Manchester United.

“And although Fabinho has been outstanding, he would be more influential in midfield. It has caused a chain reaction throughout the team.”

This article first appeared on Caught Offside and was syndicated with permission.

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