Liverpool has revealed that Joel Matip will miss the rest of the season with an ankle ligament injury.
The Cameroon international sustained the injury in Thursday’s 3-1 win over Tottenham, and Jurgen Klopp disclosed on Monday that the 29-year-old would not be available for the remainder of the campaign.
Klopp said: “Unfortunately, we found out now after everybody looked at it that Joel will be out for the rest of the season.
“But he will be ready for the start of the next pre-season and finally everything will be sorted.”
The news explains why Liverpool have dipped into the transfer market, signing two new centre-backs on deadline day.
Ben Davies signed from Preston in a £1.6 million ($2.1m) deal and that deal comes next by the loan signing of Turkish international Ozan Kabak from Schalke.
The Reds will have the option to make the agreement permanent in the summer for a fee of £18m ($24.5m).
Matip’s absence, though, is a huge blow. He joins Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez as a long-term loss, with Klopp indicating that the former Schalke man, who has a long history of injury issues on Merseyside, had played through the pain barrier for the sake of the team.
Klopp said: “In the end, we have to admit that he probably did that.
“The situation is even, Joel was injured when the season started, unfortunately. We should not forget that at Schalke when he was there he played pretty much all the time completely through, he never had something.
“Then he was unfortunate with a [Kalidou] Koulibaly challenge against Napoli in the last second [in December 2018], in the Everton game [June 2020] kind of stuff, a little bit with the foot here and there.
“If something begins and then the situation is like our situation – that nobody can wait because of our situation with Virgil out and Joe out – we always had to try to find the first minute when he can play again.
“It was unlucky because it was a brilliant challenge he made entirely, he saved our life at that moment in the Tottenham game when he won the challenge against Son.
“But he injured his ankle and played the game on and now is out for the season, so you can imagine how much he struggled to stay on the pitch and tried to help us.
“We will wait for him. He has now the rest of this season, then the summer, the pre-season he will be fit and be ready again.”