Liverpool’s Plans for Emergency Fourth-Choice Centre Back Explained

Jurgen KloppJurgen Klopp is not planning to buy another defender this summer | Pool/Getty Images

Last season’s Premier League champions Liverpool are not thought to be planning any new additions to central defence this summer, with Brazilian midfielder Fabinho a possible source of cover.

Liverpool’s only signing of the summer to date has been Greek left-back Konstantinos Tsimikas for £11.7m who will likely serve as a back-up for Andy Robertson. Jürgen Klopp’s side have been weakened at the heart of defence after the sale of experienced centre-back Dejan Lovren earlier in the window.

Virgil van Dijk, Joe GomezBetween mid-December and February, Liverpool kept nine clean sheets in ten games with Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk at centre-back | Robin Jones/Getty Images

By the end of the season, Liverpool had settled upon an assured defensive partnership in the form of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. The pair started 20 of the team’s final 22 Premier League fixtures alongside one another as Liverpool finished the campaign with the fewest goals conceded in the division.

With Lovren now at Zenit Saint Petersburg, the only other experienced option at centre-back Liverpool currently boast is Joël Matip – who started the triumphant Champions League final in 2019. Yet, there is not set to be any further reinforcements according to the Liverpool Echo.

Alongside Matip, Klopp could also call upon the highly rated duo of Ki-Jana Hoever and Sepp van den Berg. Both 18-year-old’s are yet to make a Premier League appearance but were afforded a handful of outings in last season’s cup competitions.

Although, Klopp may turn to Fabinho – who was described as ’emergency cover’ – ahead of the teenage pairing.

Fabinho was bought by Liverpool in 2018 for £40.5m as a defensive midfielder. The 26-year-old Brazilian has regularly been deployed in this position although he has – on only a smattering of occasions – deputised as a centre-back, including in the Champions League round of 16 first leg against Bayern Munich in 2019.

While centre-back is far from his favoured role, Fabinho does have experience playing in defence. In his first three seasons at Monaco – the club he joined Liverpool from – Fabinho turned out as a right-back more often than he did in midfield.

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