Virgil van Dijk is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering an injury during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Everton on Saturday.
The world-class Dutch centre-back was forced off in the 11th minute of the Merseyside derby following a poor tackle by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Pickford escaped punishment – to the surprise of many – and initial reports over Van Dijk’s condition are concerning.
beIN Sports have reported that Van Dijk could be out for up to eight months with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury.
If the report proves to be accurate, this would obviously be a major blow to Liverpool’s hopes of retaining their Premier League title.
Van Dijk, arguably the world’s best defender, has been instrumental in the Reds’ recent success following his £75 million arrival from Southampton in January 2018.
If Van Dijk is out for the rest of the season then Jurgen Klopp will surely consider signing another top centre-back when the transfer window re-opens in January.
Nobody will be able to replace the peerless Van Dijk, but here are eight defenders who could improve Klopp’s defensive options.
Dayot Upamecano | RB Leipzig
Strongly linked with a move to Manchester United before the transfer window closed earlier this month, Dayot Upamecano is one of Europe’s most sought-after defenders.
The 21-year-old has been capped three times by France and scored his first international goal against Croatia last month.
Kalidou Koulibaly | Napoli
Kalidou Koulibaly is another highly-rated centre-back who was linked with a move to the Premier League over the summer.
The Napoli star, who turns 30 next June, boasts more experience than most defenders on this particular shortlist.
Conor Coady | Wolves
Born in St Helens, Merseyside, Conor Coady grew up supporting Liverpool and would surely be tempted by the opportunity to join the Reds if the call came from Klopp.
The Wolves ace, 27, impressed during the recent international break while playing for England.
Milan Skriniar | Inter Milan
Tottenham remain interested in signing Milan Skriniar, but Liverpool might be an even more attractive option for Inter Milan’s Slovakia international.
The 25-year-old has been capped 33 times by his country.
Pau Torres | Villarreal
Recently linked with both Arsenal and Manchester United. Pau Torres may already be on Klopp’s radar.
The 23-year-old Spain international has spent his entire career with Villarreal, barring a season on loan at Malaga during the 2018-19 campaign.
Caglar Soyuncu | Leicester City
As we saw with Harry Maguire, Leicester City will sell their best players provided the price is right.
Caglar Soyuncu wouldn’t come cheap but the 24-year-old Turkey international might be worth the money.
Ozan Kabak | Schalke
Another Turkish centre-back, Liverpool are reportedly interested in Schalke’s Ozan Kabak.
The youngest player on this shortlist, Kabak only turned 20 in March and could be one for the future rather than the present.
Jules Koundé | Sevilla
The same may apply for Sevilla’s talented 21-year-old defender Jules Koundé.
Manchester City were linked with the France Under-21 international before they signed Ruben Dias from Benfica.