With Liverpool and manager Jurgen Klopp not quite enjoying the January winter break like some other clubs given their continued involvement in both domestic Cup competitions, their gaffer now has another issue to contend with following their 2-0 FA Cup victory over Arsenal – and that is a knee injury sustained by 25 year old England international full back, Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Speaking to the media after the game, assistant manager Pep Lijnders explained.
“Trent hyperextended his knee, so he has a little tear in the lateral ligament of his knee. He had a scan. He will be out for probably three weeks. It’s a big blow. We will really miss him.”
The Merseyside outfit do now have a break until the 21st of the month, but there are still four games fixtured, including one against Chelsea, and if his injury timescale is accurate he will not come back into contention until the Arsenal clash in February at the earliest.
Given the club currently sit in top place in the Premier League table, and hold a three point advantage over second placed Aston Villa (and at worst a two point advantage over third placed Manchester City who currently have a game in hand), injury issues are not what they need quite now as they aim for another title under the German gaffer.
Lijnders went on to talk about his obvious importance to the squad and their set up, especially given his growing flexibility as a player in more recent years and the obvious creative outlet he has become for them, as even though he has only scored twice in 25 games this season, his impact on the pitch is far more important than that – especially as Klopp now uses him at points in a more attacking midfield role.
With Egyptian wizard and club talisman Mohamed Salah now on international duty with his country at this month’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament, added to midfielder and summer signing Wataru Endo away with Japan at the Asia Cup, Klopp also has to work around the fact that neither Andy Robertson nor Kostas Tsimikas are expected to return to training until the end of the month either given their respective shoulder injuries, so he is already light on defensive options.
With fellow summer signing, midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai, out with a hamstring injury as well, one bit of positive news was the return from illness of very influential Virgil van Dijk as he was expected to feature against Fulham in their midweek EFL Cup semi final first leg clash with Fulham.
Fans will simply have to see how the injury situation holds up, and ultimately, whether it ends up holding Liverpool back in the coming weeks.