Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool will have to dip into the transfer market in January after losing Virgil van Dijk to a serious knee injury.
The Dutchman was forced off during the first half of the Reds’ 2-2 draw with Merseyside rivals Everton as a result of a late challenge from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Scans have since revealed that Van Dijk suffered damage to his anterior cruciate ligament, an injury that will ensure he misses the majority – if not the entirety – of the remainder of the season.
And Carragher feels the title race is now ‘wide open’ as a result, with the champions requiring defensive reinforcements in the next transfer window if they are to keep their defence on track.
He told Sky Sports: “I think the big question you look at now is can Liverpool win the league without Van Dijk there?
“There are three or four players in every title-winning team – or team who think they can win the title – if one of those players are missing, no matter how good your manager is, no matter how big your squad is, you can’t cover for them. They’re that outstanding.
“I think it blows the title race wide open, I really do. I still felt at the start of this season that Liverpool were the team to beat. With Van Dijk being out for what looks like the whole season, it’s going to be all on for Liverpool.
“Liverpool certainly have to go into the market in January, not just because of Van Dijk’s injury but Liverpool were weak in that area anyway. They lost Lovren before the start of the season and the other players in those positions are very injury prone.
“Devastating news for Virgil van Dijk, but for Jurgen Klopp now and the club it’s who can we get in? I know the transfer window has just finished but they have to be ready on January 1 to bring someone in because they’re really weak in that area and that could stop them going on to achieve what they want to achieve.”