The £211.5m seven-a-side team Liverpool currently have sidelined
Liverpool‘s title defence has been beset by injury problems so far in 2020-21, meaning Jurgen Klopp currently has a pretty handy seven-a-side team currently sidelined.
Having already had to cope without the likes of Alisson Becker and Sadio Mane on occasion this season, injuries to key men have piled up for Klopp, who has been forced to constantly rejig his starting XI so far this term, regularly deploying players out of the natural positions.
And we’ve compiled a seven-a-side team of unavailable players that cost Liverpool £211.5million. With Alisson back from injury, there’s no obvious goalkeeper. If we can play goalie-when-needed, this team would take some stopping at Powerleague.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – Free
He’s the youngest. He’s the cheapest. He’s going in goal.
After picking up a calf injury in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City, Alexander-Arnold is expected to miss around a month of action, meaning he will be unavailable for the rest of the Reds’ Champions League group campaign as well as Premier League fixtures against Leicester City, Brighton and Wolves.
He’d be a great playmaker from the back, tbf.
Virgil van Dijk – £75m
For a while it seemed like news of Van Dijk’s injury was getting more coverage than COVID and the American Presidential election.
The defender has undergone successful knee surgery following Jordan Pickford’s controversial challenge in the Merseyside Derby in October.
While Liverpool remain reluctant to put a timeframe on Van Dijk’s recovery, there are serious doubts over whether he will play again this season.
Joe Gomez – £3.5m
As if losing Van Dijk and Alexander-Arnold from their defence wasn’t enough, the knee injury picked up by Gomez on England duty upgraded Jurgen Klopp’s selection headache into a fully blown injury crisis.
The centre-back has also undergone surgery and, like Van Dijk, faces a battle to play again this season, albeit there seems to be more optimism around the former Charlton man’s prospects.
Due to the injury being picked up on international duty, FIFA are set to cover Gomez’s £80,000-a-week wages while he is sidelined, but it has raised further questions about football’s packed schedule in 2020-21.
“I had a long chat with Jurgen last night, we’re all worried about player welfare,” England boss Gareth Southgate said on Thursday.
“I said to him, ‘There needs to be a look at the calendar.’ We’ve fortunate in that we’ve got the six subs tonight – and five for the Nations League games. We’ve got to try and lessen the load as much as we can for the players.”
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – £35m
An all-too-familiar story, Oxlade-Chamberlain is yet to play for Liverpool this season after suffering an injury in the Reds’ pre-season training camp in Austria.
We can’t help but feel sorry for the Ox, who was in some of the best form of his career before picking up a serious knee injury in his maiden campaign at Anfield.
Since then, the England international has struggled with a number of fitness issues while having to watch Liverpool bolster their midfield with the signings of Naby Keita, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Thiago Alcantara.
Fabinho – £39m
Even before Gomez was sidelined, there was an argument that Fabinho had established himself as the best centre-back at Anfield in the wake of Van Dijk’s serious injury.
The Brazil international dropped into defence with consummate ease, but his switch forced Klopp into trying to redress the balance in his midfield.
Thankfully for the Liverpool boss, Fabinho is tipped to make his return following the international break.
Thiago Alcantara – £25m
As if we weren’t already excited enough about watching Thiago in the Premier League, that debut at Chelsea was enough for even non-Liverpool fans like ourselves to sit with a pillow over their laps.
Since then, Thiago has appeared just once more for Liverpool, producing another impressive showing against Everton in the Merseyside Derby.
There were fears the Spain international could be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after being on the receiving end of a rash tackle from Richarlison but scans revealed the injury was not as serious as first thought, although it remains to be seen when he will return.
Mo Salah – £34m
When your luck is out, it really is out. Still, not a bad bloke to spearhead your seven-a-side team.