Liverpool have recalled Nathaniel Phillips from his loan spell at Stuttgart to ease a defensive crisis caused by numerous injuries.
The Premier League leaders have some serious problems at the back, with Joel Matip (knee) and Dejan Lovren (hamstring) both currently sidelined and midfielder Fabinho – a potential stand-in – also out.
This leaves Jurgen Klopp with just two fit senior central defenders in Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez, which is far from ideal given they are still competing in three competitions, having just returned from Qatar as world club champions.
Phillips had made 11 appearances for the Bundesliga 2 side this season, and his recall to Anfield means he could make his debut in the FA Cup third round Merseyside derby tie at home to Everton on January 5.
“Liverpool have reached an agreement with Stuttgart for Nathaniel Phillips to return from his loan spell in January,” Liverpool said in a statement.
LIVE on talkSPORT
The festive feast of football continues over the next week – find out what is LIVE across the talkSPORT network, below…
- Wolves vs Man City (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT
- Brighton vs Bournemouth (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Watford vs Aston Villa (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT
- Norwich vs Tottenham (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- West Ham vs Leicester (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Brighton vs Chelsea (Wednesday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Burnley vs Aston Villa (Wednesday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Southampton vs Tottenham (Wednesday, 3pm) – talkSPORT
- Newcastle vs Leicester (Wednesday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Watford vs Wolves (Wednesday, 3pm) – talkSPORT app
- Man City vs Everton (Wednesday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- West Ham vs Bournemouth (Wednesday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Norwich vs Crystal Palace (Wednesday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT app
- Arsenal vs Man United (Wednesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
- Derby vs Barnsley (Thursday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Liverpool vs Sheffield United (Thursday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
The Reds have two matches before the visit of Everton, with both Wolves and Sheffield United travelling to Anfield in the Premier League in the next seven days.
Liverpool are currently 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League as they edge ever closer to winning their first English top flight title in 31 years.