Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp says the Reds should not be splurging £50million on a new defender "for the sake of it".
Liverpool's depleted backline has been hit further by injury after Joe Gomez suffered a knee problem while training with England on international duty.
Gomez was in "a lot of pain" according to Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate as he went down with none of his teammates around him.
He now faces a spell on the sidelines and there are even fears that the Reds centre-half may miss the remainder of the season and next summer's delayed European Championships.
Jurgen Klopp will undoubtedly scour the market for a new defender in January, but Redknapp has warned against spending big amid speculation the Anfield hierarchy could swoop for Dayot Upamecano or Kalidou Koulibaly.
"It's a difficult one," he told Sky Sports.
"I've heard people say that they've got to go out and get a really big signing because Virgil is going to be injured, but if he goes through the right rehab to get fit, he's not going to be too far away from coming back in maybe March or April time as a guess.
"Normally it's six or seven months, he's an incredibly fit guy and he'll be a good healer.
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It's been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp's men.
They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.
Virgil van Dijk's season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson's injury worries too.
But there's no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.
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“You don't want to bring in someone for the sake of it for £40m or £50m because you know you've got someone coming back really quickly.
"But if you've lost Gomez as well, you're certainly looking to get into the market and try and bring in someone in January or as quickly as you can, be it a loan, be it a signing – but it's not going to be easy to get players in.
“Your hands are tied to a certain extent because straight away, everyone knows you're desperate so the prices are going to get inflated.
" Liverpool have worked the market so well, they've not always bought the big stars, they've made them stars.
"Virgil may be the opposite, they paid £75m for him but what his fee now would be, maybe three times as much as that because he's such an incredible player.
“Defenders are at a premium because there's not many good ones around that can play like Virgil, that can defend like Joe Gomez, who is still a young man.
"I really hope it's weeks rather than months but I don't like the rumours that are coming out of the squad.”
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