Matip suffered the injury during last week's Premier League victory at Tottenham; Jurgen Klopp already without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez; Liverpool signed central defenders Ben Davies from Preston and Ozan Kabak from Schalke in deadline day deals
Tuesday 2 February 2021 00:37, UK
Liverpool defender Joel Matip will miss the remainder of the 2020-21 season due to an ankle ligament injury.
Matip suffered the injury in a challenge with Heung-Min Son during Liverpool's victory over Tottenham on Thursday, and was subsequently substituted at half-time.
With fellow centre backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez also out with long-term injuries, Liverpool signed defenders Ben Davies from Preston and Ozan Kabak from Schalke on Monday just hours before the transfer window closed.
"Unfortunately, we found out now after everybody looked at it that Joel will be out for the rest of the season," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
"But he will be ready for the start of the next pre-season and finally everything will be sorted."
Captain Jordan Henderson and fellow midfielder Fabinho have deputised at centre back in recent weeks, with youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams also filling in.
However, with a hectic schedule ahead as Liverpool continue their Premier League title defence and resume their Champions League campaign, Klopp has been provided with reinforcements.
Despite the absences of Van Dijk and Gomez, Matip has only made a total of 12 appearances in all competitions as he's struggled with various injuries throughout the campaign.
"The situation is just, the season started and Joel was injured when the season started, unfortunately," Klopp said. "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 Koulibaly challenge against Napoli in the last second, in the Everton game kind of things, a little bit with the foot here and there. 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.
"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."
Sky Sports EFL pundit Keith Andrews:
"For where Liverpool are now I think it makes absolute sense. You can maybe liken it to something like the Odion Ighalo signing by Manchester United last year.
"It's a stop-gap to a point, but within that, you've got an opportunity as a player to stake a claim. It's a chance of a lifetime for Ben Davies.
"The only thing I would say is I think there is a snobbery in football that the big clubs don't look down that far, traditionally. Usually, Davies would have to go to a lower Premier League team and prove himself there, maybe akin to what James Tarkowski has done after his lower-league exploits."
Sky Sports' Paul Merson:
"I feel they are just bringing a couple of bodies in. When Fabinho got injured, I feel that was the moment where they had to drop Jordan Henderson into defence. It's just a case of getting bodies in. The top-drawer out there are going to be £70m-£80m players.
"When you buy them, they will be on between £100,000 and £200,000-a-week. They won't be playing in six months when Virgil van Dijk is fit and Joe Gomez is a very good player who will be one for the now. We can all spend the club's money but at the end of the day, it's a business. They are not expensive.
"The lad at Schalke won't believe his luck. If you are his agent, you would be looking to get knighted! He has just gone to the champions... they have just one won game all season! That really did shock me. The lad at Preston is a decent player but it's a massive jump. It's just a case of getting bodies in."