Liverpool call up youngsters to first team squad ahead of Champions League clash with Ajax

Kaya Kaynak October 21, 2020
Liverpool call up youngsters to first team squad ahead of Champions League clash with Ajax
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool have been forced to include two young centre backs in their squad to face Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

The Reds are set to be without Virgil van Dijk for some time after he suffered a serious knee injury in the Merseyside derby.

Now, after it was revealed that Joel Matip missed training, youngsters Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips have travelled to Amsterdam.

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Liverpool’s defensive problems

After failing to replace Dejan Lovren Jurgen Klopp’s side went into this season with just three senior centre backs.

They are now down to just two after it was revealed that van Dijk would require surgery. The Dutch international was on the recieving end of a poor tackle from Jordan Pickford on Saturday.

The Reds could be further depleted to just one after Joel Matip missed training on Tuesday.

The Cameroonian has started just twice in the past year due to a series of recurring muscle problems.

Midfielder Fabinho has filled in at the back before. He is expected to do so again alongside Joe Gomez on Wednesday night.

But the news about Matip means we could well see a lot more of Rhys Williams. The 19-year-old played in both of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup ties this season.

Photo by Andrew Vaughan – CameraSport via Getty Images

More injury problems

It’s not just at the back where Jurgen Klopp has a selection headache though.

Summer signing Thiago also missed training following an injury sustained in the derby. He isn’t likely to feature against Ajax.

With Fabinho covering and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain still out injured, Jurgen Klopp will see his options in the middle of the park restricted as well.

There is some positive news though after Naby Keita tested negative for covid-19.

The Guinean midfielder reportedly tested positive on international duty, but was back in full training at Melwood this week after receiving a fresh negative result.

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Kaya is a sports journalist who is desperately missing football. He has worked with talkSPORT, 90min.com, GiveMeSport and CBC. He has a first class master's degree in international journalism from City University of London. He is also a fluent Turkish speaker and is proficient in French. Follow him on twitter @kayakaynak97 for all his latest articles.