There are growing concerns amongst managers in the Premier League that the congested schedule is causing multiple injuries within their ranks. Players picking up knocks is up by 15% in the early stages of this campaign compared to other seasons, and it now seems very likely that the five-substitute rule, that was in place for the remainder of last season, as a part of the Football Association’s Project Restart, is going to be reinstated.
We are only eight gameweeks into the season, but already some 107 ‘injuries or illnesses’ have been recorded, and that doesn’t even include the few who have tested positive for coronavirus.
Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp, who’s expected to lead his side to back-to-back Premier League titles in the bet exchange, has seen almost his whole back four side-lined via injuries, with left back Andy Robertson the only regular defender fully fit. And, the German manager believes ‘it’s a necessity’ for the five changes to be re-introduced.
“It’s not an advantage [to be able to use five substitutes], it’s a necessity. It happens in other countries, it was sold completely wrong and now you have this situation,” Klopp said.
As players head off on international duty, with many playing three games for their countries over the short period, it’s inevitable that more injuries are going to be picked up. In fact, Klopp and Pep Guardiola, who is also largely in favour of five subs, will be left seething, as they have already lost players through injuries.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was the latest player to add to Liverpool’s injury crisis, wreaking further havoc on their title-defending campaign. The young English right back was forced off in the 1-1 draw against Manchester City at the Etihad last weekend and could now miss up to a month of action, due to the suspected calf injury.
That was just the tip of the iceberg for Klopp, who is also missing Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho at the back, as it was revealed that Joe Gomez has picked up a potentially serious injury in England training. The Three Lions were preparing for their friendly with the Republic of Ireland when the young centre back picked up the significant injury.
The 23-year-old has returned to his clubs to undergo scans on what is believed to be a serious knee injury, and there are fears that he could face a lengthy stint on the sidelines, along with his regular centre back partner van Dijk.
“I can’t tell you how serious it is because he’s yet to have scans.
“What was upsetting was to see he was in a fair bit of pain and the fact was there was nobody around him when the injury happened, so I didn’t like that element of it,” England gaffer Gareth Southgate said.
There also appeared to a hamstring issue for Man City’s new recruit Nathan Aké. The Dutch defender limped off after six minutes in his country’s friendly against Spain. A pass back to his goalkeeper in the third minute seemed to tweak the injury, but a tackle on Alvaro Morata left him needing treatment, and he was subsequently replaced by former Manchester United defender Daley Blind.
The £40m signing told his followers on social media that he is frustrated by the injury but hopes to be back soon.
Frustrating night! Hope to be back soon🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/a2EPosFVnA
— Nathan Aké (@NathanAke) November 11, 2020
Man United’s Luke Shaw has become accustomed to injuries over the last five years at Old Trafford, but we’re sure he’ll be left frustrated by his latest hamstring injury, which forced him off in the Red Devils’ recent 3-1 victory over Everton. When fit again, Shaw could struggle to earn his place back in Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s starting XI, as summer signing Alex Telles is now available for selection, after testing positive for coronavirus.
Other recent casualties include West Ham’s Michail Antonio, who faces a period out due to a hamstring tear, Arsenal defender David Luiz, who is ruled out for several weeks with a thigh injury he picked up against Leicester City and Sergio Agüero, who is also battling a hamstring injury.