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Virgil van Dijk: Jamie Carragher says Liverpool defender's injury blows title race wide open

Virgil van Dijk's knee injury has "blown the title race wide open", says Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, who has urged Liverpool to line up a new centre-back in January.

Liverpool defender Van Dijk will undergo surgery following a challenge by Jordan Pickford in Saturday's Merseyside derby and Carragher believes the Dutchman's absence raises real questions over whether the Reds can retain their Premier League crown.

Joel Matip and Joe Gomez will deputise for Van Dijk, who played every minute of last season as Liverpool ended their 30-year wait to become English champions, but Carragher says injury problems in the past for those two players and a lack of depth at centre-back will be a major concern for boss Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool are currently three points behind Premier League leaders Everton.

"The big question you're looking at now is, can Liverpool win the league without Van Dijk there? I think every team has three or four players in every title-winning team or a team who think they can win the title, and if one of those players is missing, no matter how good your manager is, no matter how big your squad is, you can't cover for them because they're outstanding," said Carragher.

"I think it blows the title race wide open, I really do.

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