Aldridge: Liverpool must sign new centre back to win Prem title

Former Liverpool player John Aldridge believes the club must sign a new centre back in January, if they want to retain the Premier League title.

The Reds won last season’s trophy after an impressive campaign which saw them reach 99 points.

Their title defence has been encouraging, as they currently sit top of the table. But it’s also been badly affected by defensive injuries.

Fabinho, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk have all been sidelined at some point. Joel Matip is the latest centre back to join that list.

Aldridge thinks the Reds need to act fast in January to bolster their squad.

Speaking on his Sunday World column, Aldridge said: “Word has been coming out of Anfield suggesting Liverpool are not looking to sign anyone next month, but it has to be a smokescreen. They simply have to sign a centre half if they are serious about retaining the Premier League title.

“Joel Matip’s injury in the draw against West Brom confirmed what we have all appreciated for some time now – Liverpool have to spend money on a good quality defender.

“I like Matip, and if he could be relied upon to play the majority of games in the second half of the season, Klopp might be able to get through to next summer with the current squad.

“The reality facing Liverpool heading into Wednesday’s game at Newcastle is pretty stark. They have one senior centre back to call upon and he is a midfielder, Fabinho.

“The injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have ripped a hole in Liverpool’s defensive line. With Matip clearly struggling fitness-wise, they are horribly short at the back.”

Klopp’s side have been linked with plenty of centre backs in recent months. Brighton’s Ben White and Inter’s Milan Skriniar are two names being mentioned.

Next month could prove to be a huge one if Liverpool want to improve Klopp’s options in defence.

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