The latest word stemming from the English media suggests that Liverpool’s defensive crisis could yet be added further to by Rhys Williams.
To say that the last month has not proven too kind to Premier League champions Liverpool would be something of an understatement.
First, during the club’s Merseyside derby meeting with Everton, Virgil van Dijk picked up a knee injury, which is expected to see the Dutchman sidelined for the remainder of the campaign.
Then, two weeks later, whilst filling in for the absent van Dijk, Fabinho hobbled off during the club’s Champions League clash vs Midtjylland, after suffering a hamstring problem.
This was followed by Trent Alexander-Arnold adding to the ever-growing injury list at Anfield last weekend, when the English international picked up a calf problem, which looks set to see him miss around a month of action.
And, incredibly, yet another defensive blow for Jurgen Klopp’s men was forthcoming last week when, after word surfaced that Joe Gomez had been forced out of England training, confirmation swiftly followed that the 23-year-old had been forced under the knife.
Gomez, like central-defensive partner van Dijk, is now in line for an extended spell on the sidelines.
.@J_Gomez97 has today undergone successful surgery to repair a tendon in his left knee.
The issue was isolated to Gomez’s tendon, with no damage to any other associated knee ligaments and Joe will now begin a rehabilitation programme with our medical team 💪
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 12, 2020
Both Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson, meanwhile, have also emerged as fitness concerns over the last couple of days, with respective muscle issues.
The former missed out on a place in Scotland’s squad to take on Slovakia on Sunday night, whilst Liverpool captain Henderson has returned to Merseyside after being forced off at half-time of England’s defeat to Belgium.
As such, as things stand, the genuine possibility exists that Jurgen Klopp will not have any of his first-choice back-4 to choose from when the English champions welcome Leicester City to Anfield this weekend.
As outlined above, though, just when it appeared as though the defensive woes facing Liverpool couldn’t get any worse, a fresh concern has emerged.
The player in question? Rhys Williams.
19-year-old Williams, who has looked superb whilst filling in amidst the personnel crisis on the red half of Merseyside of late, was expected to feature for England’s U21s during the country’s meeting with Albania this evening.
As kick-off approached, however, it was revealed that Williams had been excluded from not only the Young Lions’ starting XI, but their matchday squad altogether.
Panic, in turn, quickly spread amongst the Liverpool faithful.
And an explanation for Williams’ absence has since been forthcoming.
As confirmed by a number of sources across social media, the teenage stopper has picked up a ‘minor issue’, and was therefore withdrawn from contention to face Albania as a precaution:
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) November 17, 2020
Williams’ availability to face Leicester this weekend, in turn, appears up in the air.
‘Back on the field soon’
In other Reds-related news this evening, meanwhile, Mohamed Salah has taken to social media, to provide an update on his wellbeing.
The explosive wide-man is another to have picked up a problem, albeit an altogether different one to his Liverpool teammates, whilst on international duty.
Salah last week tested positive for Covid-19, and has since remained in self isolation as a result.
The Egyptian is therefore also set to miss his side’s return to action on Sunday, but has moved to assure that he will nevertheless be back in Liverpool’s colours ‘soon’:
I’d like to thank everyone for the supportive messages and well wishes. I’m confident I’ll be back on the field soon 💪
— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) November 17, 2020
Brazil confirm Man United full-back Alex Telles has tested negative for Covid-19/ Martial has a ‘back complaint’
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|1||Leicester City FC||8||9||18|
|2||Tottenham Hotspur FC||8||10||17|
|6||Aston Villa FC||7||9||15|
|8||Crystal Palace FC||8||0||13|
|9||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||8||-1||13|
|10||Manchester City FC||7||1||12|
|12||West Ham United FC||8||4||11|
|13||Newcastle United FC||8||-3||11|
|14||Manchester United FC||7||-2||10|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||8||-3||6|
|18||West Bromwich Albion||8||-11||3|
|20||Sheffield United FC||8||-10||1|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||8|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||8|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||8|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||8|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||7|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||7|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United FC||6|
|Watkins, Ollie||Aston Villa FC||6|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||5|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace FC||5|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||5|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||4|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||4|
|Werner, Timo||Chelsea FC||4|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||4|
|Jimenez, Raul||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||4|
|Rodriguez, James||Everton FC||3|
|Adams, Che||Southampton FC||3|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||3|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Evans, Jonny||Leicester City FC||0||4|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||0||3|
|Tielemans, Youri||Leicester City FC||0||3|
|Klich, Mateusz||Leeds United||0||3|
|Bellerin, Hector||Arsenal FC||0||3|
|Berge, Sander||Sheffield United FC||0||3|
|Romeu, Oriol||Southampton FC||0||3|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||0||3|
|Walker-Peters, Kyle||Southampton FC||0||3|
|Bissouma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||1||2|
|Egan, John||Sheffield United FC||1||2|
|Lundstram, John||Sheffield United FC||0||3|
|Fred||Manchester United FC||0||3|
|Cash, Matty||Aston Villa FC||0||3|
|Lewis, Jamal||Newcastle United FC||0||3|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||0||2|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace FC||0||2|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||0||2|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||0||2|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||8|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||5|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||4|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||3|
|Rodriguez, James||Everton FC||3|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||3|
|Ziyech, Hakim||Chelsea FC||3|
|Cresswell, Aaron||West Ham United FC||3|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||2|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace FC||2|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||2|
|Adams, Che||Southampton FC||2|
|Mitrovic, Aleksandar||Fulham FC||2|
|Chilwell, Benjamin||Chelsea FC||2|
|Fornals, Pablo||West Ham United FC||2|
|Townsend, Andros||Crystal Palace FC||2|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City FC||2|
|Armstrong, Stuart||Southampton FC||2|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||2|