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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea