Jamie Carragher has explained why Liverpool will struggle to win the Premier League title this season without Virgil van Dijk.
The Dutchman was injured from a controversial Jordan Pickford challenge during the Merseyside derby on Saturday, which Liverpool drew 2-2.
Van Dijk confirmed on Monday that he needed knee surgery and would miss several months of the season in a blow to Jurgen Klopp’s plans.
And Carragher added to the doom and gloom by saying that history suggests Liverpool will struggle to retain the title without one of their key men.
“History says no,” Carragher said on Sky Sports.
“What I mean by that is when I went back to the mid 80s, I went through champions who tried to retain titles, I went back to huge figures like Virgil van Dijk.
“Everton in 1986 lost Southall to injury, Liverpool won. In 1988 – Alan Hansen, who was the Virgil van Dijk of that time, got injured in pre-season, Arsenal won league. Cantona missed half a season with his incident, Blackburn win the title. Laporte misses part of season. Man City lose the league.
“I think if van Dijk is fit for the whole season Liverpool win the league. Now without him it massively opens it up. The loss of van Dijk speaks for itself.
“We are talking about the best player and the most valuable player in the Premier League. The reason van Dijk was most valuable, I would say De Bruyne but he does get injured, but van Dijk was because he never missed a game.”