‘It is football – it didn’t become rocket science overnight’: Jurgen Klopp backs Joe Gomez and Joel Matip partnership to shine for Liverpool in absence of injured Virgil van Dijk
- Virgil Van Dijk is likely to miss the season as a result of the ACL injury he suffered
- This leaves Joe Gomez and Joel Matip as the two recognised centre-backs
- The pair have not started together once in the four years since Matip joined
- Jurgen Klopp is confident the pair can form a promising partnership at the back
- Liverpool also have the option of playing Fabinho who has impressed in defence
Jurgen Klopp has backed Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to form a successful defensive partnership, despite the pair never starting a game together.
The German has been left with selection headaches following the news that Virgil Van Dijk is likely to miss the season with an ACL injury in a clash with Jordan Pickford during the Merseyside derby.
This has left Liverpool with just two recognised centre-backs in Matip and Gomez who have played 229 games between them – but have somehow never lined up together.
Jurgen Klopp has been left with a selection headache after the injury to star man Virgil Van Dijk
The Dutchman will likely be out for the season with an ACL injury sustained against Everton
Ahead of Liverpool’s match with Sheffield United, Klopp said in his pre-match conference that the pair will need to get used to each other.
Klopp said: ‘The reason for (why Gomez and Matip never played together) is because I think Virg played pretty much all the games and one of them was injured.
‘As long as Dejan Lovren was still here and Dejan was in that moment fit (he could play).
‘I didn’t know they had never played together, I didn’t know that, but they can play together – not a shadow of a doubt.
‘As I said for the Fabinho and Joe pairing, they need to get used to each other and the full-backs need to get used to them.
‘The more stability you have in this line, the better. We never had that really, especially one position was always with a lot of changes. They will fight together, there is no doubt about that.
‘It is football and it didn’t become rocket science overnight. We can help them with information but then they will get tested every three days, that’s the situation.’
Joe Gomez impressed in a partnership with Fabinho during Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Ajax
Joel Matip could also form a partnership with Gomez, despite the pair never playing together
Van Dijk’s injury was a bitter blow to Liverpool’s hopes of retaining the Premier League.
It leaves them with Gomez and Matip who both have a history of injuries – with the latter struggling for fitness since football resumed in June.
The pair might still have a battle on their hands to start with Fabinho another option for Klopp’s Liverpool.
The Brazilian produced magnificent displays in recent victories over Chelsea and Ajax as a makeshift centre-back and is likely to be the man to fill the void left by Van Dijk.