Jamie Carragher believes the injury that could rule Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk out for the season “blows the title race wide open”.
Van Dijk suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury during Saturday’s 2-2 Merseyside derby draw against Everton at Goodison Park after a clash with Jordan Pickford.
The Dutchman walked off the pitch but it has since been revealed that he will require surgery on the problem.
Liverpool have opted not to put a time-scale on his expected recovery time, with Van Dijk also speaking in more vague terms about a return.
Carragher believes “it’s going to be all on for Liverpool” now without Van Dijk, while stressing the importance of signing defensive reinforcements as soon as possible.
“The big question you’re looking at now is, can Liverpool win the league without Van Dijk there?” he told Sky Sports.
“I think every team has three or four players in every title-winning team or a team who think they can win the title, and if one of those players is missing, no matter how good your manager is, no matter how big your squad is, you can’t cover for them because they’re outstanding.
“I think it blows the title race wide open, I really do.
“I still felt at the start of this season Liverpool were the team to beat. I think with Van Dijk being out for what looks like the whole season now, I think it’s going to be all on for Liverpool.
“I think Liverpool certainly have to go into the market in January, and not just because of Van Dijk’s injury, but Liverpool were weak in that area anyway. They lost Lovren before the start of the season now the other players in those positions are very injury prone.
“Yes, devastating news for Virgil van Dijk – we pass on our wishes and I’m sure everyone does around football – but I think for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp and the club now, right away it’s who can they get in?
“I know the transfer window has just finished but they have to be ready on January 1 to bring someone in because they are really weak in that area and that could stop them going on to try to achieve what they want to achieve.”