Liverpool were so close to boasting a full quota of available senior midfielders.
Jurgen Klopp could practically touch it as the Reds’ injury woes started to dry up after the Premier League’s winter break. But as one hand giveth, the other taketh away.
After an £150m midfield revamp last summer, Liverpool currently boast eight senior midfielders, with the likes of Academy graduates Bobby Clark and James McConnell offering further reinforcements. Yet, with Thiago Alcantara and Bobby Clark missing most of the season so far with long-term injury, even without setbacks suffered by Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis Mac Allister and Curtis Jones, not once has Klopp had all of his options available.
But for the briefest moment this month, such a pipedream verged on becoming reality.
Thiago Alcantara suffers major injury blow after Liverpool comeback
Thiago Alcantara, Dominik Szoboszlai, Mohamed Salah - Liverpool injury news and return dates
On Saturday, Wataru Endo’s premature Anfield return was secured as Japan suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Iran in the Asian Cup quarter-finals. The 30-year-old had missed the Reds’ last seven matches due to his mid-season international exploits, but after reporting back to the AXA Training Centre on Wednesday, is now available to face Burnley this weekend.
With Thiago also looking sharp after returning to team training earlier this month after 10 months on the sidelines with a hip injury, it left 19-year-old Bajcetic as the only senior option still ruled out. Perhaps inevitably, that was not to last.
As Liverpool travelled to London ahead of facing Arsenal on Sunday, Thiago was included in their travelling party and they knew they would soon welcome back Endo. Yet they were left without SzoboszlaiRead on liverpoolecho.co.uk