Paul Merson has urged Liverpool to bring in a long-term partner for Virgil van Dijk and not a “cheap” transfer to “fill in”.
The Premier League champions are set to be without their talismanic central defender for a lengthy period after he damaged an anterior cruciate ligament during the Merseyside derby.
Van Dijk requires knee surgery after being clattered by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford last weekend.
Liverpool have already been linked with a number of centre-backs as rumours swirl that they could bring in cover over the January transfer window.
Merson told the Daily Star: “I think Liverpool’s players need to get together now and show they can cope. If they start losing games people are going to accuse them of being a one-man team.
“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.”
Will Chelsea fall into Manchester United’s trap again at Old Trafford? And is Virgil van Dijk really so big a loss for Liverpool as has been made out? Winty and Mark dissect what is sure to be a Big Weekend.