Liverpool injury news: Latest updates as Luis Díaz and Thiago are not ruled out of the Arsenal game, in what could be a major double boost to Jürgen Klopp.
Liverpool could really do with a reason to be cheerful. On paper, high-flying Arsenal does not look likely to oblige. But if two of Liverpool’s most-missed absentees could play some part against the Gunners, that would soften the blow of any negative result, providing two very real grounds for optimism.
Such is the present situation, nobody is expecting to win, with the Champions League places looking increasingly distant. But if Jürgen Klopp’s key stars can come back and stay fit, any potential absence from Europe’s top table should not last long.
At every injury update, the most eagerly-awaited news is on Luis Díaz, Liverpool’s most exciting attacker before he got injured in October. Cruelly re-injured in the winter training camp in Dubai, it is now going on half a year since he last featured.
Thiago has also been sorely missed. His latest issue means he has now missed more than 35 per cent of games since signing for Liverpool, so while nobody will be counting their chickens when he does return, nobody doubts his quality when he is fit. Should he make it back for the remainder of the run-in, he could yet influence the Champions League picture.
Virgil van Dijk
We’ll never know for certain whether Van Dijk would have been spared from the mass rotation against Chelsea if he had been fit. According to The Athletic, there had been ‘suggestions’ he was going to be dropped anyway. But ultimately, Klopp seemingly had his decision made for him, with the Dutchman unavailable for the fixture through illness.
Van Dijk was spotted in training on Thursday and if 100 per cent fit, he presumably comes straight back into the side, with Joël Matip not exactly giving Klopp the biggest of dilemmas with his latest display.
It’s almost impossible to be patient when it comes to the return of Díaz, but there is no other option.
Even once he is back on the pitch, it would be unfair to expect him to be the magic fix, having been out for so long. But it’s hard to shake the feeling that he would instantly make everything seem at least a little less bleak.
Liverpool won’t be waiting much longer now. When ruling Díaz out of the Chelsea game, Klopp also gave room for hope that he could be back to feature in some capacity against Arsenal.
“When he came back to training in Dubai he looked outstanding but got injured again so we have to make sure we are patient,” he said. “I wouldn’t say Arsenal is completely out of the picture but it’s rather unlikely, but after that then Luis will be back.”
Still a long shot, then, but a possibility. He was pictured in training again ahead of the weekend. And in the worst-case scenario, one more game to wait isn’t too bad. Finally, Liverpool has something to get excited about.
Klopp said ahead of the Chelsea game that Thiago had returned to full team training the previous day. As with Díaz, that came too late to put him into contention for the trip to London.
However, he may be available for selection against Arsenal. Klopp said that the club will ‘see how he reacts’ to the rigors of being back in training, with his hip having been the cause of the latest problems.
Assuming there is no adverse reaction, Liverpool may soon be able to count on Thiago again. Like Díaz, he was pictured in the latest set of training photos.
At the last update, Klopp expressed uncertainty over whether Naby Keïta would ever play for Liverpool again. Unfortunately, ending his Anfield career on the treatment table would be something of a fitting end.
There is still time for Keïta to make a comeback, although it’s hard to imagine he would make the team even if fit. That’s not a reflection on the strength of the midfield options, but rather the futility of playing a midfielder who is about to leave, and who has never seemed to fully earn Klopp’s trust anyway.
He was injured on international duty for Guinea, where he put in another excellent display before sustaining the muscle problem. It will forever be a source of frustration that Liverpool could never get the best version of Keïta.
He was pictured training in the latest round of pictures, but appeared to be away from the main group, working with a coach individually.
Calvin Ramsay and Stefan Bajčetić
With only 10 Liverpool games to go, ‘out for the season’ is no longer as dramatic as it once was. But that’s the fate of Ramsay and Bajčetić, neither of whom will be play any further part in this campaign.
The hope is that both will be back in time to make their mark in pre-season. Two promising youngsters, Bajčetić had already made a major breakthrough into the first team before his setback, while injuries have meant Ramsay has so far been unable to ever really get going.