Full extent of Liverpool’s injury crisis as Klopp without £330m worth of talent


James Milner succumbing to a hamstring injury during Liverpool’s draw at Brighton means Jurgen Klopp is now without eight first-team stars worth an eye-watering total of £330million.

The Reds’ injury woes in defence are well documented and they are currently without three of their first-choice back four.

Centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez face many months on the sidelines with knee injuries, while right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold hopes to return in December.

But a fresh wave of injuries has left the Premier League champions threadbare in midfield as the hectic festive schedule looms.

Milner follows Naby Keita to the treatment room only one week after the latter picked up a hamstring injury of his own in the 3-0 win over Leicester.

Klopp is missing over £200million worth of talent in defence and £100million in midfield

Meanwhile, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a long-term absentee with a knee injury and Thiago Alcantara – who arrived at Anfield amid much fanfare last summer – has not featured since he was ruled out following last month’s Merseyside derby.

And Liverpool’s squad depth was further depleted as versatile playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri suffered a muscle injury on international duty with Switzerland.

The eight players unavailable to Klopp include some of Liverpool’s most highly-valued stars, with Alexander-Arnold and Van Dijk worth £99million and £72million respectively, according to player value experts Transfermarkt .

Milner is the latest name on the injury list – one week after Keita also picked up a hamstring complaint

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But it is central midfield which is starting to prove a major problem area for Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds boss is without £100million worth of talent in this position, while usual defensive midfield stalwart Fabinho has been forced to fill in at centre-back.

The Brazilian has impressed in his stand-in role alongside Joel Matip and Nat Phillips, but it has come at the price of leaving Liverpool with just three available midfielders.

Captain Jordan Henderson returned to the bench for the draw at Brighton, while Gini Wijnaldum is a mainstay and teenager Curtis Jones is already into double figures for appearances this season.

Fabinho has impressed at centre-back – but his position change has left the Reds light in midfield

Do Liverpool have a squad deep enough to win the Premier League this season despite their injury woes? Have your say here.

Liverpool’s woes in midfield forced Klopp to switch from his regular 4-3-3 formation to a 4-2-3-1 for the trip to the Amex, allowing him to field four forwards even with Sadio Mane on the bench.

Attack is the one area where Liverpool are not plagued by injuries and we are likely to see more four-man forward lines in games to come.

The Reds have so far overcome their injury crisis to put themselves in a strong position in Champions League Group D and temporarily top of the Premier League ahead of Chelsea and Tottenham’s clash on Sunday.

But the tired legs on show in the tepid 2-0 home defeat to Atalanta and laboured draw at Brighton are a cause of concern for Klopp.

The German has been a vocal opponent of a schedule which he believes is overburdening players and could not help but vent his anger at BT Sport’s Des Kelly after witnessing the Reds’ latest injury.

Milner has forged a reputation as a consistent performer in whichever position he is asked to play and his absence will be sorely felt as Klopp tries to plug Liverpool’s holes in defence and midfield.

Up next for the Reds are two home games – Ajax on Tuesday and Wolves next Sunday – with a full four days without a match in-between them.

The brief respite presents Klopp a chance to plan how best to try and negotiate the December fixtures without losing yet more players to injury.

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