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Klopp delivers alarming news as Liverpool defender crisis escalates

By Alex Taylor

Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Joel Matip has suffered an injury on the same foot that has troubled him in the past after he limped out of Liverpool’s 2-0 friendly win over Wigan on Sunday.

The summer signing from Schalke was complaining about pain from his ankle as he left the field.

Klopp is hopeful that Matip won’t be sidelined for long but did not totally dampen fears that the centre-back will be given a clean bill of health.

“I hope it’s only a minor problem,” Klopp told the Liverpool Echo. “He said he’s had it one or two times already. Joel gets better and better and better, you can see it. It’s not too serious, hopefully.

“It’s the foot he had problems with in the past and then he had a little bit of pain when pre-season started because of the intensity. He’s used to it.

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“Hopefully it is like this because everyone can see he’s in a real good way. I think tomorrow he’ll rest then he can go again.”

Matip started in the centre of defence alongside Dejan Lovren as the Reds won their third pre-season friendly thanks to goals from Danny Ings and 16-year-old Ben Woodburn.

Klopp can ill afford another defensive blow having already lost fellow centre-backs Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez to Achilles problems.

With Martin Skrtel sold to Fenerbahce earlier in the week and Kolo Toure released last month, Lovren could be left as the only senior centre-back available for selection.

Liverpool have now started their pre-season fixture-list in the best possible fashion after a ruthless finish from the returning Danny Ings gave Klopp’s side a 1-0 against Tranmere, before following that up with a 5-0 win against Fleetwood Town four days ago.

In other Liverpool news, the Reds are close to wrapping up three new signings, according to a reliable Merseyside journalist.