Liverpool facing midfield depth issues with Jordan Henderson looking at February return

Liverpool facing midfield depth issues with Jordan Henderson looking at February return

The midfielder is set to be out for over a month with a hamstring issue, although it's unlikely to force manager Jurgen Klopp into the transfer market.

Oliver Emmerson

Liverpool are facing a midfield crisis upon fears that club captain Jordan Henderson could be out until February.

The 27-year-old was forced off with a hamstring problem against Arsenal last Friday, and subsequently missed the Reds' 5-0 thumping of relegation strugglers Swansea City on Boxing Day.

Grade two tear, reports suggest

A scan on Henderson's hamstring has revealed a grade two tear, according to the Daily Mail, leaving the skipper facing up to six weeks on the treatment table, taking his lay-off into February. 

He'll definitely miss the flurry of matches coming up as Liverpool play league fixtures against Leicester City and Burnley over three days before coming up against rivals Everton in the FA Cup.

Manchester City on January 14 is likely to be missed by Henderson too, whilst he faces a huge battle to be fit for games against Swansea and Huddersfield Town in late January.

The Reds' Champions League last 16 opener against FC Porto will surely be on his mind as he completes his recovery, the captain certainly wanting to be fit and firing going into that one. 

Who replaces the captain?

For now though, Liverpool are likely to be relying on Emre Can to perform duties in the number six role, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum occupying roles around him.

Liverpool have no other midfielder with much experience in the deep-lying role, although Trent Alexander-Arnold has played their for the club's youth sides. 

It's unlikely that Klopp will dip into the January transfer market for a midfielder given that Henderson will be back in February, especially with Naby Keita arriving from RB Leipzig in the summer.

However, as fears grow over Emre Can's contract saga, Klopp will surely be tracking central players to replace the German with should he leave on a free.

Henderson's injury could present a chance for Marko Grujic to force his way into the reckoning, although it's still expected that the Serbian midfielder will leave on loan next month.