Liverpool have confirmed that Joel Matip will miss the rest of the 2020/21 campaign through injury after damaging ankle ligaments. The Cameroonian picked up the injury when challenging Son Heung-min in the first half of Thursday’s 3-1 win at Tottenham and was, therefore, substituted at half-time.
Liverpool were initially optimistic that the injury was not as bad as first feared but now Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Matip’s season is all-but over.
“Unfortunately, we found out now after everybody looked at it that Joel will be out for the rest of the season,” he told the club’s website.
“But he will be ready for the start of the next pre-season and finally everything will be sorted.”
Thankfully, the Reds have managed to bring in reinforcements after confirming the signings of Ben Davies from Preston and Ozan Kabak on loan from Schalke.
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“In the end, we have to admit that he probably did that,” the Liverpool boss added, citing Matip’s unfortunate injury history.
“The situation is just, the season started and 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 unlucky with a [Kalidou] Koulibaly challenge against Napoli in the last second, in the Everton game kind of things, a little bit with the foot here and there.”
Matip’s injury means all three of Liverpool’s first-team centre-backs have suffered season-ending injuries.
Both Van Dijk and Gomez were forced to undergo knee surgery in the opening months of the season, leaving Liverpool short at the back.
But now Klopp is focused on working with what he has, as opposed to dwelling on what may have been without a series of unfortunate events.
“If something started and then the situation is like our situation – that nobody can really wait because of our situation with Virgil out and Joe out – we always had to try to find the first moment when he is able to play again,” he said.
“It was really unlucky because it was a brilliant challenge he made actually, he saved our life in 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 tried 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, then the pre-season to get ready again and he will be ready again.”