Jamie Carragher says Liverpool simply must sign a new centre-back this month or risk giving their Premier League title rivals hope.
Jurgen Klopp’s men sit top of the table despite coping with a huge list of injuries which has seen them deprived of star man Virgil van Dijk.
Joe Gomez has also suffered a serious injury which will likely sideline him for the remainder of the season.
Fabinho has had to drop back into defence, with Joel Matip, who is also injured, being their only other available senior centre-back.
That has let their rivals get closer to the champions. Man Utd can draw level with the Reds at the top if they beat Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.
There has been no indications from Anfield that Klopp is going to strengthen his squad in January. It means inexperienced duo Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips will continue to fill in.
The Liverpool Echo maintain that ;Liverpool sources’ have already indicated that notable incomings are unlikely in January.
Klopp is said to be content with his options at centre-back. And any significant recruitment work going on at the moment is being aimed at the summer.
However, Carragher, writing in his column for the Daily Telegraph, says the Reds would be crazy not to add to their squad.
“The injury to Virgil Van Dijk alone will cost Liverpool between nine and 12 points over the course of this season,” wrote Carragher.
Rivals will be buoyed by inactivity
“And although Fabinho has proved a fantastic deputy at the back. Joel Matip’s ongoing problems mean, to me at least, that it is inconceivable that Liverpool will not sign another centre-half at the earliest opportunity.
“I cannot understand the logic of not doing so. The club needed one anyway.
“If Matip continues to be in and out of the side, and then Fabinho gets injured. How can Liverpool expect to perform at the highest level with only the inexperienced Williams and Phillips to step in? That is too big a risk.
“The way Liverpool have dealt with the loss of key players so far shows they will still take some stopping. But it will not be as one-sided as last year. And failing to sign another defender will only lift the hopes of everyone else.
“Jurgen Klopp will be cursing a missed opportunity if Liverpool do not retain their title. Liverpool are the best team in England, but circumstances have opened the door for everyone with dreams of catching them.”