Liverpool injury crisis means Irish defender may get his chance in first team squad 2 years ago

Liverpool injury crisis means Irish defender may get his chance in first team squad

This could be his chance to get into the first team squad.

Liverpool are experiencing some injury troubles in central defence ahead of the busy Christmas period.

Joe Gomez suffered a hairline fracture in his leg last week, an injury that will keep him out for about six weeks. In the victory over Napoli on Tuesday night, Joe Matip fractured his collarbone.

Matip is also set to miss around six weeks, leaving Liverpool with Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren as their only fit senior central defenders.

Liverpool lose yet another defender to injury as crisis worsens

Liverpool defender Joel Matip suffered a fracture to his collarbone during Liverpool's win over Napoli, ruling him out for around six weeks

However, Lovren has struggled for fitness over the last few months.

The Croatian defender has only made four appearances in the Premier League this season.

With Liverpool set to play seven games over the next month - including matches against Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal - it could be a big ask for Lovren to play a part in each fixture.

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Jurgen Klopp could, and probably will, play Fabinho in central defence. He used the Brazilian midfielder there during a pre-season friendly and Fabinho is versatile enough to drop back into defence - he started his career as a right-back.

However, if Klopp is looking for another natural central defender, he could opt for Conor Masterson.

The 20-year-old Irish underage international has been a regular for Liverpool's Under-23 team and was on the bench for the Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City last season.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Nat Phillips, another Liverpool academy graduate, is probably ahead of Masterson in the pecking order after impressed Klopp with his pre-season performances.

However, Phillips has been carrying an Achilles injury and hasn't played for the club since November. Masterson missed the start of this season with a knee injury but is currently back to full fitness.

Masterson may not start for Liverpool over the coming weeks, but their injury issues mean he may at least be called up to the first-team squad. He has been a regular for Ireland at underage level and joined Liverpool from Lucan United in 2014.