Why Glen Johnson's injury could prove to be a costly blow for Liverpool

Glen Johnson (low quality)

Johnson's injury currently leaves one man who can directly replace him in his position during his absence.

Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has been ruled out for at least four weeks high a groin injury that he sustained in the 3-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Though Johnson is something of a maligned figure for the many of the club's fans due to his poor form for a considerable amount of time, it is something of a blow to the Reds with the busy festive period coming up.

It is likely that 20-year-old Javier Manquillo will be given the responsibility of filling in for the 30-year-old over Christmas given that Jon Flanagan has yet to show any signs of returning to fitness from a knee injury that has kept him sidelined for the duration of the campaign so far.

Manquillo was brought in as cover to develop his game as a youngster. We have seen his capabilities in the early stages of the season and there is certainly something to work with there. But this is a player who will be accustomed to a winter break, yet will be required to be an ever-present during the busiest domestic schedule of the entire campaign as the only recognised right-back.

The other options that Liverpool will have is the experienced Kolo Toure playing at right-back instead of his more natural central position. The other possible option minus Manquillo would be for the Reds to revert to a back three and play with one of their quicker players in the right wing-back role, or Jordan Henderson.

It's a lot to rely on Manquillo for his spell. He looks a bright prospect but this could prove to be something of a culture shock, if Liverpool are to opt for a conventional back four in the coming weeks - as well as putting a lot of pressure on the youngster to deliver.

It is one of those stages that no matter how out of form one of your more experienced players may be, it'd be better to have them at your disposal, than not.

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