Liverpool stars have already been ‘raving’ about a potential replacement for Joe Gomez after the centre-back was injured on international duty with England. The defender could be set for a long spell on the sidelines giving Jurgen Klopp further problems in his backline.
Virgil van Dijk is already out for the majority of the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery.
Now Gomez could join him with question marks over the fitness of Joel Matip as well.
Liverpool fear his latest knee injury is similar to the one he suffered five years ago although England boss Southgate was tight-lipped on Wednesday evening.
He said: “I hate to see any of our players suffer and there is nothing worse… one of the worst things as an international manager is that you are borrowing players and something happens on your watch.
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“You feel a responsibility and you start to go back but in this instance there is just nothing we would have done differently.
“But, yeah, you just don’t want to see players missing for any lengthy period of time. Having been a player, that’s the toughest thing in the sport and Joe’s experienced that a couple of times which is why we are even more hopeful that this isn’t that sort of situation.
“I can’t tell you how serious it is because he’s yet to have scans. What was upsetting was to see him in a fair bit of pain. There was nobody around him when it happened and I didn’t like that element of it. We’ve got to wait for the scan.
“We can’t speculate on the exact nature of the injury. Our immediate thoughts are with him because he’s had difficulties in the past. We are hoping and praying that it won’t be a long one, but we will just have to see.”
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One positive for Liverpool is they have several young and talented defenders who could step up before the January transfer window.
Klopp could call upon Billy Koumetio who left his team-mates ‘raving about his talents’ before the Community Shield this season.
The Athletic also claim the Liverpool manager rates the French youngster highly and could call upon his services.
The 17-year-old is believed to have a bright future at Anfield and feature prominently in the short pre-season this year.
After a game against Blackpool, Klopp said: “Absolutely (he will learn). We had some problems in the first half. [The opening goal] was a pressed ball against a very experienced player, who was stronger in that moment.
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“Billy played super balls, super passes and was there. Our last line played [for the] first time together like this, it is completely fine, but we were just not high enough.
“There were many situations where I thought it must be offside, but it wasn’t offside. For one reason at least, it was not offside because we were not really in line.
“All these things, little things to learn, but 17 years old, the whole life in front of him, which is really nice.
“[He is a] big talent and, as I said, he had a few really, really good situations, but in this press ball, it was not so nice.”
Liverpool return to action after the international break against the early Premier League leaders Leicester on Saturday, November 21.
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