3 ways Liverpool could line up without Andy Robertson amid injury fears

Death, taxes and an injury during the international break: the three inevitabilities of life, it seems.

On Thursday night, Liverpool fans watched on in horror as Andy Robertson left the pitch shortly before half-time of Scotland's Euro qualification defeat to Spain, with his arm wrapped in his shirt like a sling.

Steve Clarke confirmed the 29-year-old would return to his club to assess the damage, while there are reports that the left back has suffered a dislocated shoulder and could be set for a prolonged period on the sidelines.

The news is far from ideal for Liverpool, who face the first Merseyside derby immediately following the international break.

Robertson, who is third-captain under Jurgen Klopp, has been pretty close to an ever-present in recent seasons, missing just four games through injury across last season.

The exact timeline of the defender's injury won't be known until he undergoes a scan on Friday, while the length of absence will likely to depend on whether surgery is required.

However, here's a look at how Liverpool could line up in defence in the short-term without the Scot.

1. Tsimikas – Van Dijk – Konate – Alexander-Arnold

Kostas Tsimikas

The obvious option.

Liverpool's 'Greek Scouser' Kostas Tsimikas has been Robertson's like-for-like backup since 2020 and is an experienced replacement, having deputised in both of the Europa League ties and the Carabao Cup outing so far in 2023/24

The former Olympiacos man, who signed a new long-term contract extension with Liverpool just last month, offers a lot of the same qualities as Robertson – particularly in an attacking sense – albeit not as good.

Equally, while Robertson is not a natural fit for Klopp's tweaked tactical system that sees his side transition to a back three in possession, the same can be said of Tsimikas.

While there will be little doubt about the 27-year-old's ability to run the wing and put balls into the box, a more disciplined approach that requires more from him in terms of defensive positioning and concentration may lead to some concerns.

2. Gomez – Van Dijk – Konate – Alexander-Arnold

Joe Gomez, ProShots

Prior to the start of the season there was talk that Liverpool were in the market for a young, left-sided centre back who could play in a back three. Levi Colwill was looked at, among others, but ultimately no new defenders arrived and Robertson remained as the undisputed starter in a role that no longer exactly meets his talents.

With the former Hull man sidelined, however, Klopp may now have the perfect opportunity to experiment with a more natural defender in the position.

Although not left-footed, Joe Gomez has filled in left back for Liverpool on ten occasions previously (according to Transfermarkt) and could provide emergency cover again.

After a difficult few years since his latest serious injury in the 2020/21 season, the 26-year-old has been impressive since the start of this campaign – particularly in the win over West Ham, where he featured at right back.

3. Chambers – Van Dijk – Konate – Alexander-Arnold

Luke Chambers, ProShots

And lastly, Robertson's injury could provide a huge opportunity for youngster Luke Chambers, if not in the league then at least the cups.

The Preston-born 19-year-old, who joined Liverpool's academy at the age of six, impressed on loan at Kilmarnock in the second half of last season and was even linked with a move to Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen over the summer.

The young left back ultimately stayed put at Liverpool, however, and has been a frequent face in the Reds' matchday squads in 2023/24, making his senior debut as a substitute in a 3-1 Carabao Cup victory over Leicester City at Anfield last month.

Chambers, who was part of the England squad that won the 2022 Under-19 European Championship, has also played centre-back at youth level and his skillset may make him a solid fit for Liverpool's system.

With the Carabao Cup round of 16 clash with Bournemouth coming up, as well as four more Europa League fixtures before the start of December, he could find himself getting plenty of chances to impress.

Share This Article