February 29, 2024
Virgil van Dijk's suspension.

Virgil van Dijk's suspension.

For Liverpool’s return to action on Saturday against Wolves, the defense may experience a brief crisis, but Jürgen Klopp may already have a solution ready to step in

Jürgen Klopp will love to see the rear of the worldwide break. The Liverpool manager is well-known for his aversion to allowing his players to travel abroad to serve their countries, and you can certainly understand why this is the case.

Jurgen-Klopp
Jurgen-Klopp

Before having to stop playing after just four games, Liverpool had been gaining real momentum. The Reds’ best presentation came not long before the break as they made it three straight wins against Aston Estate, and Klopp will trust they can take up where they left out against Wolves on Saturday.

In any case, the Liverpool supervisor could be confronting somewhat of a cerebral pain with his side in front of the excursion to Molineux. Having lost Ibrahima Konaté to injury before the success at Newcastle, Virgil van Dijk then got a suspension which has now been broadened, keeping him out of this end of the week’s re-visitation of activity.

Additionally, Trent Alexander-Arnold is a questionable injury candidate after being substituted against Villa, and Conor Bradley’s absence from the team as a result of a stress fracture in his back could leave the defense with fewer options this weekend.

Conor Gallagher
Conor Gallagher

Senior center backs Joe Gomez and Joel Matip might be the only ones available to face Wolves. Jarell Quansah has made appearances off the bench this season and might be able to cover for Alexander-Arnold at right back for Gomez. However, the 20-year-old would be a big ask to start after only making a few first-team appearances.

Also, the open door could come too early for Stefan Bajčetić. The adolescent dazzled during his altercation Klopp’s side last season, however he’s yet to show up for Liverpool this season since getting back from injury.

As a result, Klopp may need to think outside the box in order to find a solution because the options appear limited. One might lie as one of his late spring signings.

At Anfield, Wataru End has not yet established himself. His only appearance was a cameo off the bench against Bournemouth and Villa, and his only start was against Newcastle, where he was substituted just before the hour mark.

He is, however, firmly in the running for Wolves, and the possibility of a mini-crisis in defense may be his ticket into the side after he impressed for Japan in the weekend’s 4-1 victory over Germany.

Although End excels naturally as a defensive midfielder, he also has a lot of experience as a central defender. Truth be told, across the whole of his profession, he has shown up as a middle back than he has in midfield.

Conor Bradley
Conor Bradley

“Wataru is a really good player,” Klopp told the club’s official website after signing the 30-year-old center back, “but only two of the 239 games as a center back listed on Transfermarkt were outside of Japan.” His last appearance in the position came in 2020 for Stuttgart, but given the potential situation Liverpool may be in, the Reds may not be able to turn their nose up at that experience. I know how things work in the football world, but take a look—he’s a very good player—because I know how things work. Experienced player, commander of Stuttgart, chief of Japan, talks great English, decent fella, family man, machine on the pitch, great footballer what’s more, hair-raising disposition. In this way, I’m truly blissful. He’s a decent footballer, exceptionally experienced and loves to really buckle down.”

It should be noted that Liverpool should only use it as a last resort, and it is hoped that Alexander-Arnold will be able to play again after pulling out of England duty.

However, in the event that this is not the case, End might be able to demonstrate why signing a player with his level of experience, which initially raised some eyebrows during the summer, might actually turn out to be a wise move.

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