Liverpool look to Wilson to fill Carragher void

Liverpool's 18-year-old Scotland international defender Danny Wilson will be given an immediate chance to demonstrate to Roy Hodgson that he can help fill the gap created by Jamie Carragher's three-month absence, when he starts tomorrow's Europa League match against Steaua Bucharest.

Liverpool announced yesterday that they could be without Carragher's presence at the heart of central defence until mid-March when it was confirmed he will need surgery on the shoulder injury he suffered at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. The 32-year-old had initially hoped that a period of rest would restrict his absence to six weeks, but with Daniel Agger struggling to recover from calcification caused by a calf injury, Hodgson now has only two established centre-halves fit – Martin Skrtel and Sotirios Kyrgiakos.

Wilson has started only one game – the demoralising Carling Cup defeat to Northampton Town in September – which is less than he hoped for when he arrived for £2m from Rangers in the summer. Wilson, like the other summer arrival Jonjo Shelvey, were viewed by Liverpool as worth a gamble on, since the modest outlay on them was relatively easy to recoup by selling them if they were not up to the standard. Shelvey has shown some promise in Europe. Now Wilson, who became the youngest player to play in the Champions League for Rangers when Walter Smith selected him just over a year ago, now has the chance to play a part.

Though either Kyrgiakos or Pepe Reina will be stand-in captain in the absence of both Carragher and Steven Gerrard, Carragher's absence increases the prospect of Liverpool looking for a centre-half next month. France international Adil Rami, one of a number of Lille players Roy Hodgson has watched, is consistent and has a physical strength that suggests he would be cut out for the Premier League, but he will not come cheap. Lille will want €15m (£12.5m) for the Moroccan-born player, which may be more than proprietors New England Sports Ventures are willing to pay.

Hodgson will also start the promising 20-year-old right-back Martin Kelly in Bucharest, where Liverpool – needing only a point to progress and a victory to go through as Group K winners – will also field Joe Cole, Ryan Babel, Milan Jovanovic, Christian Poulsen and Shelvey.

Fernando Torres will not travel with the squad. Striker Daniel Pacheco may also get another chance to prove himself, from the bench.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most