Virgil van Dijk’s injury news has sent shockwaves through the Liverpool fanbase worldwide.
The defender is to undergo surgery after damaging knee ligaments against Everton on Saturday, and the star is looking at a lengthy period on the sidelines.
The 29-year-old was clattered by Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, and the chances of the star appearing again this season appear to be slim at the moment.
Liverpool have not placed a timeframe on his recovery, but it’s common knowledge ACL damage that requires surgery can mean many months out.
van Dijk’s absence is undoubtedly a huge blow for the Reds, and former full-back Glen Johnson has offered his take on the situation, predicted two Liverpool players in particular could be significantly impacted.
Speaking to the Mirror, he said: “There’s nothing better as an attacking full-back to think ‘Oh actually, I don’t need to run back because I know that van Dijk is there, or John Terry is there.
“You just know they’re going to win the ball.
“If you look over your shoulder and it’s somebody else then you don’t get that confidence, and then you have to be in totally different positions.
“We’ve seen it over the years with Trent. Sometimes defensively he’s got into some terrible positions, but it doesn’t matter because van Dijk will be mopping up behind and making it all look very easy. Both full-backs will have to change.”
TBR’s View – Liverpool full-backs must be mindful
Given how brilliant they have been going forwards, Jurgen Klopp would be pained to see Alexander-Arnold and Robertson playing a bit more conservatively.
They will surely still be looking to bomb forwards at every opportunity, but both players probably do now have to be a bit more mindful.
26-year-old Robertson in particular needs to be careful, as van Dijk operates as the left-sided centre-back.
The Scot is arguably the best left-back in the Premier League though, and definitely has the engine to get back into position quickly.