Liverpool have been hit with the news that defender Joel Matip has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
The Cameroonian defender picked up a thigh injury in Saturday’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace, one that will likely require him to undergo surgery.
Matip completed the 90 minutes at Selhurst Park but Liverpool have now confirmed that the centre-back will have to under go the procedure to correct the inury, which they say will “likely end his involvement in the 2017/18 campaign.”
The news has come at a particularly bad time for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who has been busy preparing his side for Wednesday’s massive Champions League quarter final clash with Manchester City. Klopp had been alternating between Matip and Lovren as he figures out the best partner for £75m man Virgil van Dijk, but Matip’s injury has put paid to that, with Lovren now Van Dijk’s automatic partner for the rest of the campaign.
Additionally, it leaves Liverpool looking a little bare at the back now. With Joe Gomez also sidelined through injury for the foreseeable future, it means that Ragnar Klavan is now the only specialist central defensive backup for the main two. Emre Can could, in theory, also fit in there but that would be less than ideal.
One positive for Klopp and Liverpool is that Chelsea’s defeat on Sunday puts them in a strong position in terms of sealing a top four place again this season, their primary aim at the beginning of the domestic campaign.
Klopp will likely provide further updates on Matip when he sits down for his pre-match press conference on Tuesday afternoon.