Liverpool need to sign a defensive stopgap due to their injury crisis – with Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi suggested as an option.

The Reds have been without two of their top centre-backs for nearly the entire season, having lost Virgil van Dijk to an injury suffered in October’s Merseyside derby and then seen Joe Gomez ruled out with a tendon issue picked up on international duty.

Klopp has some serious issues right now, and Liverpool are struggling on the pitch


Klopp has some serious issues right now, and Liverpool are struggling on the pitch

Jurgen Klopp has been forced to drop midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson into the centre of defence due to the injury crisis, with skipper Henderson selected alongside Joel Matip for Thursday’s Premier League clash vs Tottenham as Fabinho himself also suffered an injury that sidelined the Brazil international.

Fans have been calling for a new centre-back recruit since last summer, with long-term doubts over the depth in Klopp’s squad, and these calls have only increased in frequency as the Reds struggle on the pitch with Van DIjk and Gomez ruled out.

Liverpool are said to have made contact with former Arsenal defender Sokratis before he joined Olympiakos, having been released by the Gunners earlier this month.

Bringing in the 32-year-old would have been nothing more than a short-term fix for Liverpool’s present issues, and the Reds have been told to make this type of ‘stopgap’ centre-back signing before the January transfer window closes on Monday.

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Speaking on BT Sport ahead of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium clash, ex-Man United defender Rio Ferdinand said: “I’m not saying you are going to go and get your ‘A’ class, main centre-back right now, but there must be some sort of stopgap somewhere to fill that void.

“Because you are saying now, ‘we will play with a central midfield partnership that are now going to be our centre-back partnership, or I’m going to play with two very inexperienced players.”

But Sokratis is off the market having signed for Olympiakos, so who could Liverpool sign?

How about his former Arsenal teammate Mustafi, who is out the first-team picture in north London with only nine appearances in all competitions this season?

Former Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas highlighted Mustafi as an option as he replied to Ferdinand’s comments.

Is Mustafi the perfect transfer target for Liverpool?

Getty Images – Getty

Is Mustafi the perfect transfer target for Liverpool?

“Let’s just say that stopgap was Sokratis who came in, or Mustafi,” said Jenas. “A centre-half out there who’s not getting a game.

“Are Liverpool fans going to be happy about it?”

“Is Jurgen Klopp looking at that and saying, ‘I’ve got an actual centre-half and this is better than Fabinho and Matip, or Henderson and Fabinho?

“Is it better, that stopgap, than what you’ve already got?”

Ex-Red Peter Crouch also got involved in the discussion, saying: “It means those boys can go back into midfield, Fabinho and Henderson.

“It takes so much away from the midfield if they are dropping back in.

“The kids are kids; they are not ready for the Premier League at the moment.

“And a stopgap at the moment is exactly what Liverpool need.”


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