LIVERPOOL were hit with an all-out crisis after yet another defender suffered an injury.
Joe Gomez picked up what is believed to be a serious injury while away on England duty, joining Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the sidelines.
The best available free agents still on the market
With Joel Matip only recently passed fit and makeshift defender Fabinho also struggling with a knock, Jurgen Klopp is in real trouble.
With the transfer window closed – and not open again until January – the Reds may be forced to raid the free-agent market for a new defender.
The likes of Ezequiel Garay, Ashley Williams and Jozo Simunovic are all available for free.
But even if Liverpool should sign an unattached player, they would have to apply to the Premier League board for dispensation to draft them into the squad.
Should Liverpool take the punt, we’ve put together a best XI of current free agents…
GK – Orjan Nyland
Nyland is a free agent after leaving Villa in the summerCredit: Reuters
THE Norwegian goalkeeper had his contract at Aston Villa terminated by mutual consent earlier this summer.
Nyland slipped behind Tom Heaton and Emiliano Martinez in the pecking order – and was arguably also below Jed Steer.
RB – Antonio Valencia
Valencia quit Quito at the end of the 2020 seasonCredit: Reuters
AFTER leaving Manchester United after a decade in 2019, Valencia headed home to Ecuador to play for L. D. U. Quito.
Valencia played 32 times – scoring three times – but was released and is now available on a free.
CB – Ezequiel Garay
Garay was released by Valencia in the summerCredit: Reuters
THE former Real Madrid star was released by Valencia after a four-year stint at the end of last season.
The 33-year-old Argentina international has previously played for Benfica and Zenit in Europe.
LB – Daryl Janmaat
Janmaat left Watford last month after four years at the clubCredit: EPA
JANMAAT spent six years in the Premier League at Newcastle and then Watford.
But he was released by the Hornets last month, along with Danny Welbeck, and is available on a free.
CDM – Kevin Stewart
Stewart is a free agent after being let go by Hull
STEWART joined Hull from Liverpool in an £8million deal in 2017 when the Tigers had just been relegated from Premier League.
But the midfielder was released by at the end of last season following their drop to League One.
CM – Jack Wilshere
Wilshere is hunting for a new club after having his West Ham contract mutually terminatedCredit: Getty Images – Getty
WILSHERE had his £100,000-a-week contract terminated by mutual consent after failing to prove himself at the London Stadium in the summer.
Once again, Wilshere struggled for consistency due to his recurring injury problems.
He is now desperately hunting a new club, with Rangers leading the race, according to the bookies.
Steven Gerrard’s side are as short as 4//9 to sign Wilshere, while Aston Villa are 5/4.
CM – Shinji Kagawa
Ex-Dortmund star Kagawa is still available on a free transferCredit: Getty – Contributor
THE former Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund star is a free agent having been let-go by Real Zaragoza.
In his first taste of Spanish football last season, Kagawa, still only 31, scored four times in 31 Segunda Division games and is now without a club.
RW – Daniel Sturridge
Sturridge has been out of work since March after leaving TrabzonsporCredit: Getty Images – Getty
THE former Liverpool striker has been a free agent since being let go by Turkish side Trabzonspor in March.
Ex-England star Sturridge, 31, had been on the radar of Sheffield United – but they opted to bring in Rhian Brewster instead.
Most-recently, Sturridge was seen training with eighth-tier Kidsgrove Athletic in a bid to stay fit.
The ex-Chelsea and Manchester City star revealed he would pay ‘any amount’ of money to finally be free of his injury woes.
LW – Ahmed Musa
Ex-Leicester flop Ahmed Musa is currently on the free agent marketCredit: Reuters
MUSA joined Leicester in the summer immediately after their famous 2015-16 Premier League title win.
But after struggling mightily, Musa was loaned back to CSKA Moscow – from whom the Foxes signed the Nigerian – before being sold to Al-Nassr permanently.
Musa was then released by the Saudi Arabian side last month.
ST – Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli was let go by Brescia at the end of last seasonCredit: AP:Associated Press
The former Inter Milan, Man City and Liverpool star is currently without a club – having been released by Brescia in the summer.
Balotelli has played for five clubs in the last seven years – but now it appears now club is willing to take a chance on the controversial star.
ST – Mario Mandzukic
Mandzukic is a free agent after leaving Qatari side Al-DuhailCredit: Getty Images – Getty
AFTER just ten games at Qatari side Al-Duhail, Mandzukic had his contract ripped up by mutual consent a year after leaving Juventus.
The Croatian star, 34, had been tipped with moves to the likes of Inter Milan and Fiorentina in the summer.
But the ex-Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid star is still currently a free agent.
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