Liverpool are being considered as one of the prime title contenders this term after significantly strengthening themselves with several new recruits and started the season with four back to back wins, their best inception since 1990, before entering the international break.
Although the players are yet to feature for their respective nations, a couple of injury blows have already made the fans worried before entering an arduous set of fixtures. Adam Lallana has been withdrawn from Gareth Southgate’s England squad and returned to Liverpool whereas custodian Simon Mignolet is the latest casualty who was called up by Belgium boss Roberto Martinez for the Scotland and Iceland ties but is now back to Melwood with a knock.
Mignolet has lost his place to Selecao ‘number 1’ Alisson Becker between the sticks but has been retained as the understudy of the Brazilian and is likely to be fit before 15th September’s Wembley outing against Tottenham Hotspur. Lallana, on the other hand, had an injury-riddled 2017-18 season where he played little and struggled to regain his usual form. The 30-year-old midfield failed to break in Southgate’s World Cup squad but vowed to return to his best during pre-season. He was pivotal to Jurgen Klopp’s ‘gegenpressing’ but is no more a preferred option after falling down the pecking order behind Naby Keita, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner and skipper Jordan Henderson in the middle of the park.
The player, however, has played down any severity stating it a ‘minor setback’ and is hoping to return in September itself:
“It’s a minor setback, which isn’t ideal, as I’ve been in great shape until now, but it’s positive news that it’s only a brief lay-off.
“I’m pleased I’ll be back available for Liverpool, both domestically and in the Champions League during September, and then England again for the next break.”
Lallana might not be a first-choice resource anymore but is still a massive boost off the bench with his exquisite skill and experience in English football. The Reds will contest the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Paris St-Germain, Napoli, Chelsea and Manchester City in upcoming fixtures and require a significant bench strength to overcome the hurdles one after another. His increasing injury concerns is pretty agonizing and the player must ensure he returns to the absolute best to stake a claim in Klopp’s future plan.