Liverpool centre again Virgil van Dijk’s prolonged absence by a knee harm has opened up the Premier League title race and the champions should look to signal a substitute within the January switch window, former defender Jamie Carragher stated.

Dutchman Van Dijk could have surgical procedure for broken ligaments sustained in Saturday’s Merseyside derby draw in opposition to Everton after a problem by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

“The big question you’re looking at now is, can Liverpool win the league without Van Dijk there? I think it blows the title race wide open,” Carragher instructed Sky Sports.

ALSO READ: Van Dijk needs right knee surgery, set for long absence

“I still felt at the start of this season Liverpool were the team to beat. With Van Dijk out for what looks like the whole season, it’s going to be all on for Liverpool.

“Liverpool have to go into the market in January and not just because of Van Dijk’s injury. They were weak in that area anyway. They lost (Dejan) Lovren before the start of the season… others in those positions are injury prone.”

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy described Van Dijk as the very best centre again on the planet and stated that Liverpool can be extra susceptible with out him.

“Fabinho can drop in there if (Joel) Matip and (Joe) Gomez are struggling but beyond that, there’s not much there,” Murphy instructed the BBC. “They’ve got get through to January without him (Van Dijk).”

Van Dijk stated in a press release that he hoped to make a fast return.

“In football and in life, I believe everything happens for a reason and it’s important to try and keep level-headed whether going though the highs or the lows,” he stated.

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