Liverpool V Southampton Match In Pictures
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Jurgen Klopp’s latest injury blow provides further evidence for why they should have gone out and signed a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum in the summer. Thiago Alcantara was forced off with a calf issue during the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield.
Sadio Mane scored his 100th goal for Liverpool with minutes to go until half-time, before a Mohamed Salah goal, and a spectacular volley from Naby Keita, made sure of the win late on.
Liverpool, unlike their rivals, scarcely delved into their pockets during the transfer window, despite losing midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.
The midfielders contract expired at the end of June and the Dutchman subsequently opted for a new challenge at Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG, rather than remain at Anfield.
However, Klopp’s side appeared content with just the one signing in Ibrahima Konate, who joined the club from RB Leipzig in a move worth £36million.
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Konate was forced to wait patiently to make his debut in a Liverpool shirt, but he capitalised on his opportunity in Saturday’s win with a solid defensive display.
True it is that Liverpool moved to the top of the Premier League after the win over Palace, but Klopp’s decision not delve into the market for a new midfielder could create problems going forward.
The Liverpool boss remains hopeful that Thiago’s injury isn’t as bad as first feared, but there are no guarantees at this stage.
“The only little bit that overshadowed [the game] was Thiago, but we hope it is not serious,” Klopp said on the Spaniard’s injury.
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“He felt his calf and now we hope really it is not that serious.”
Thiago’s bad injury luck at Liverpool continues after yet another setback in his Anfield career.
The midfielder arrived with high hopes after an illustrious career at Bayern Munich which saw him win almost everything club football has to offer but the 30-year-old spent much of last season out injured.
His injury sustained in the Merseyside derby at Everton forced him to miss 16 games, while testing positive for COVID-19 lead to the Spain international being absent for a further two more.
Liverpool’s previous campaign was blighted by several injuries to first-team players and they have already suffered one serious one this time around.
Harvey Elliott was stretchered off in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Leeds at Elland Road and is set to face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The Reds will be further hampered by the fact that Thiago’s replacement on Saturday – Keita – will take part in the Africa Cup of Nations alongside Sadio Mane.
The duo will be away on international duty for several weeks and they will also come face to face with one another in Cameroon as their respective countries – Guinea and Senegal – have been drawn in the same group.
Liverpool’s constant injury battle proves just how vital it is to have much-needed cover, and their latest setback is one which could ultimately cost them in the season ahead.
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