Liverpool recalling centre-back Billy Koumetio from loan
Liverpool are in talks to recall 20-year-old centre-back Billy Koumetio from his loan at Austria Vienna. It coincides with the injury blow to Virgil van Dijk, although it is unclear if the two are related.
It is unclear how long Van Dijk will be absent for after being subbed off at half-time of the 3-1 defeat to Brentford on Monday night, but the Reds have already learned the muscle issue is worse than first thought and the Dutchman will be referred to a specialist.
Jurgen Klopp still has Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Ibrahima Konate and Nat Phillips at his disposal, while Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have plated as centre-back in past emergencies.
But both Matip and Konate have missed a significant number of games though injury already this season, while Gomez has struggled badly for form.
The news that Koumetio, who joined Liverpool’s academy ranks as a 16-year-old in 2018 and has played twice for the first-team, is ‘99%’ certain to be heading back to Anfield earlier than planned has come from Austria Vienna sporting director Manuel Ortlechner
"We are in close contact and I have a phone call to Liverpool because they would like to bring Koumetio back," Ortlechner explained this week.
“We still think this is an incredibly exciting player. He can have a really exciting career. But Liverpool want to bring him back now, they have the right. We still have to clarify everything in the end, but 99 percent of the time Billy Koumetio will no longer play for Austria Wien.”
Koumetio started the season in the first-team, only to his see his Austrian Bundesliga chances dry up by early September. He remained involved in the OFB Cup but was subsequently turning out predominantly for the club’s second team before the winter break.