The reigning champs have not had the easiest of times in their road to repeating the title. It was always going to be near impossible for Liverpool to repeat the success they had in the 2019/20 season that saw them losing their first game in match week 28.
At this point last season, Liverpool were 24 points better off than they are now. One of the main reasons they are not the same has been injuries, specifically in the defense.
October 17, 2020: Virgil Van Dijk got a long-term ACL injury from a reckless tackle by Everton goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford and is not expected back until late in the season, if at all.
November 12, 2020: Joe Gomez undergoes surgery on a ruptured patella tendon and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
January 28, 2021: Joel Matip suffered ligament damage in his ankle against Tottenham Hotspur and will miss the remainder of the season.
Following Dejan Lovren’s departure to Zenit St. Petersburg in the summer, Van Dijk, Gomez, and Matip were the only senior centre-backs on Liverpool’s squad. In their absence midfields, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have done a solid job filling in. Academy products, Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams have made their debuts in the first team.
Heading into the January transfer window, Jurgen Klopp needed to address his defensive issues. It took until deadline day, but Liverpool finally got their centre-backs.
Liverpool signed 20-year-old Turkey international, Ozan Kabak, from FC Schalke 04 on a six-month loan with a potential to buy for £18m. They also completed the singing of 25-year-old Englishmen, Ben Davies from Preston North End F.C. for £2m.
In an already tumultuous season with the pandemic, Liverpool has to deal with the fact they started the season with Joe Gomez, Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip as centre-back options, and are ending it with Ozan Kabak, Ben Davies, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.
Even with these additions, Liverpool has an uphill battle to get back into the Premier League title race. They currently sit in 4th, 7 points behind league leaders Manchester City, whom they face in their next match on Sunday.