Jordan Henderson injury will give Jurgen Klopp answers to 3 key Liverpool questions

Liverpool: Van Dijk provides positive update on injury recovery

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Unfortunately for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool injury blows have become an occurrence all too common. But the news that captain and talisman Jordan Henderson could be set for an extended spell on the sidelines feels a particularly cruel one.

Henderson hobbled off during the Merseyside derby defeat to Everton, a result which leaves the champions facing a battle to retain their place in the top four.

“It is a massive blow losing Hendo again. Massive,” said Klopp after the 2-0 loss.

“It makes it really difficult….but unfortunately we have got used to it now.

“So that means we have to change things, but we unfortunately are used to having to change things by now, and we just try to set up again for the next game.

“As long as we have 11 players we will do that.”

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Recent reports have claimed that Henderson could be out for as long as three months, with scans set to assess whether he requires surgery.

Either way, it looks as if the midfielder, turned auxillary centre-back will be out of action for at least the next few weeks.

It leaves Klopp facing yet another headache on how he will juggle his wounded troops through a period that will define their campaign.

With that in mind, here’s three things that the Liverpool boss will quickly discover about his squad in light of Henderson’s absence.

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Can Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak step up?

If you’d have said at the start of the season that Henderson’s injury would leave Liverpool short of options in a position – few would have expected that position to be in central defence.

But the England international had performed admirably at the back, with he and Fabinho looking accomplished in an unfamiliar position.

Without the two midfielders, Klopp will need to rely on his two January signings to show their worth.

Kabak has shown glimpses of his quality, while Ben Davies has plenty of experience in English football to call upon.

Klopp will be keen to see them gel as quickly as possible.

Next man up…can Naby Keita or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain take their chance?

Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain have had injury woes of their own, but could be in line for a more prominent role in the coming weeks.

Wijnaldum and Thiago appear to be clear starters, with the final position up for grabs.

Curtis Jones has staked his claim for a regular berth, but Klopp could turn to more experience in his time of need.

Keita has endured a frustrating Liverpool career thus far, this could be the time it all turns around.

Can Thiago take control of Liverpool’s midfield

Talking of a frustrating start to a Reds career, Thiago Alcantara has come in for criticism aplenty since signing from Bayern Munich.

Questions have been raised about his ability to play in Klopp’s ‘heavy metal’ style, with Jamie Carragher recently labelling him a ‘defensive liability’.

There were reasons for optimism against Leizig, but without Henderson, Thiago has the chance to really put his stamp on this Liverpool side.

As a player that came with the reputation the Spaniard did, he should be able to grab that chance with both hands.

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