Liverpool’s shaky defensive start to the season can only be rivaled by Manchester United’s.
Ahead of a must-win clash with Newcastle tomorrow, United will be relieved to at least have Chris Smalling back in training, though the centreback is unlikely to make it for the game.
And both clubs are sitting on defensive frailties and injuries that is likely to force Sir Alex Ferguson’s and Brendan Rodgers’ hands in launching members of the youth teams into their first team careers.
In that category, Liverpool’s envy might be Manchester United’s pride.
Scott Wootton has claimed that he is ready to step up to the Man United first tea, if Jonny Evans is ruled out of United's Premier League trip to Newcastle tomorrow. And he revealed he could have signed for Liverpool.
The 21-year-old made his first senior start against Newcastle in the Capital One Cup and played as a substitutes in Tuesday's Champions League win over Cluj in Romania.
“The last week or so has been amazing,” the 21-year-old was quoted as saying in The Daily Mail.
“It is always the way. As a young player, obviously you don't wish injuries on someone, but that's how you might get your chance.
“I got my chance against Newcastle through injuries. It's just the way it is.”
Wootton is said to have hesitated over signing scholarship forms with the Anfield outfit, when the United made their move.
“I wasn't too sure whether I was going to sign (for Liverpool). United invited me down for a week's trial and said they wanted to sign straight after that. It was really good,” said Wootton.
Smalling has been out since last season with a broken foot, but it is understood that he has joined in with the football work in training and could be an outside contender for a place on the bench at Newcastle on Sunday.
So Wootton it could very well be.