Whelan Exclusive: Liverpool tipped to sign defender just like Van Dijk
Liverpool will look to sign a centre-half with “similar characteristics” to Virgil van Dijk in January, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed that Jurgen Klopp will be “forced” to enter the winter window in search of a new defender following Virgil van Dijk’s injury on Saturday.
Liverpool’s star defender ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the Merseyside derby, following a high tackle from Everton number one Jordan Pickford.
Virgil van Dijk will undergo surgery on the knee injury sustained during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at @Everton.
Following surgery, Virgil will begin a rehabilitation programme to enable him to reach full fitness as soon as possible.
You'll come back stronger, @VirgilvDijk 💪
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 18, 2020
The 29-year-old faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines to leave only Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, both of whom have struggled with injuries in recent seasons, as the club’s recognised centre-halves.
Whelan fears Virgil van Dijk’s absence will “massively hamper” the Premier League champions.
“Liverpool have got to sign another centre-half in January,” he told Football Insider.
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“Their hand has been forced now. Jurgen Klopp has lost his pivotal player, his leader at the back.
“Him being out for a significant period of time will massively hamper them because he is such an important player for them. Van Dijk is such an important part of their team.
“They have got to look for another centre-half. It needs to be someone with similar characteristics and we know it would cost a lot of money to do that.
“There is no doubt about, they will be searching for another centre-half because they have lost Virgil van Dijk – their hand has been forced.
“The character and the presence he has out there will be massively missed. Players like him are hard to come by. He is the best centre-half in the world right now.”
In other Liverpool news, it can be REVEALED that club plan to sell international striker amid nine-club pursuit.