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Will Liverpool rethink need to sign defender after Joel Matip injury?

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said throughout January he does not expect to sign a defender, but with the transfer window closing on Monday and his injury crisis going from bad to worse, he could yet be forced into a rethink.

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have been long-term absentees, while makeshift centre-back Fabinho missed the 3-1 win at Spurs with a minor muscle injury.

The Reds then lost Joel Matip, who partnered midfielder Jordan Henderson in defence, with an ankle injury which looks like “something serious”.

So will Klopp be forced to act?

“If you have a centre-half available at a reasonable price, and one with the quality we need, then send me a message,” he said on BT Sport.

“We thought [about making signings] and we think the whole time but it’s about doing the right thing. We need to find the right player. It’s incredible what’s happening in the defensive line.”

Nathaniel Phillips, 23, replaced Matip at half-time while 19-year-old Rhys Williams has also featured for Liverpool this season.

“It’s not just about bringing a body in. Nate and Rhys have done so well,” added Klopp, who says Matip has suffered ankle ligament damage.

“The situation is unbelievably strange. We will see what we do but this tonight did not help. It looks like something serious.”

Analysis

Chief football writer Phil McNulty

For the first time in a very long time there were questions around Liverpool.

A loss in north London would not have ended their ambitions to retain the title but the notion of being seven points behind an increasingly ominous-looking Manchester City, having played a game more, would have presented a colossal challenge.

As it was, Liverpool overcame even more central defensive injury complications to run out very comfortable winners, leaving Klopp understandably overjoyed.

Read more from Phil here

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Roberto Firmino put Liverpool in front, before right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold scored his first Premier League goal of the season and then set up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s third.

That came after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had pulled one back for Tottenham, who had to replace Harry Kane at half-time because of injuries to both ankles.

“We’ve had setback after setback, especially in the centre-back area,” said Alexander-Arnold.

“Joel Matip played well and then Nathaniel Phillips in the second half – they have both done a great job which shows the quality we have around the pitch.”

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