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Lawro warns Liverpool: Matip not answer as No1 centre-half

Liverpool great Mark Lawrenson says Joel Matip isn't strong enough to be the team's leading centre-half.

The Reds are in the midst of a defensive injury crisis with first-choice centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez ruled out for many months with serious knee injuries.

“Joe is a very, very important player," Lawrenson told talkSPORT. "Obviously with Virgil van Dijk out, it would be Joe Gomez and another.

“The thing with Joe Gomez is he's had his operation straight away and they're already saying he'll miss most of the season, but that sounds to me really that he might just make it back towards the end.

“And Matip is a decent player but he's like a willow tree; he occasionally gets blown over and he's not fit for two or three weeks, so he's another worry.

“Some of the younger players have come in and they've done absolutely fine, but I think you're looking at Matip, if fit, with the likes of Fabinho or maybe even Henderson [playing in defence] at some stage.

“But I would think it will force the manager's hand in the January transfer window.

“He's going to have to go out and buy somebody, and it won't be a difficult conversation with the owners. They'll realise what's going on; the great thing about them is they've got this sporting franchise in America and they know people lose form and get injured, so it's case of who he's going to bring in.

“We're all going to play the game now going into January – who are Liverpool going to sign?"


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