Liverpool ready for Dominik Szoboszlai injury latest as midfield reality becomes known

If Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool have been unlucky in terms of injury, the latest setback for Dominik Szoboszlai may be the most badly timed of the situation.

The manager admitted in his post-match press conference after Monday’s 4-2 win over Newcastle United that he intended to take the Hungary captain off just moments before he eventually sustained what is now feared to be a hamstring injury.

Replaced by Ryan Gravenberch after 65 minutes at Anfield, the Hungarian might have avoided being the latest casualty had the change been made when it was initially intended, according to Klopp.

“We wanted to take him off,” Klopp said.

“That was the plan but unfortunately it was a minute late because in the last situation he felt the hamstring. Now we don’t know the extent of it, obviously. We have to wait.”

That anxious wait goes on for Szoboszlai, who could potentially be facing up to the prospect of missing out on his first Premier League games since joining the Reds for £60m from RB Leipzig at the turn of July.

A scan was done earlier this week and an update is expected from Klopp when he speaks to the media at the AXA Training Centre on Friday.

The 23-year-old has participated in all 20 of Liverpool’s top-flight matches this season with the Boxing Day win over Burnley being the only match the No.8 hasn’t started.

Only Mohamed Salah has featured more from the start and his total minutes of 1589 in the Premier League is bettered by just the Egyptian and goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

They are the statistics that point towards two things for Szoboszlai’s season. Clearly he is already one of Klopp’s most trusted lieutenants, particularly in a newly revamped midfield but if the suggestions that his form has taken a dip in recent weeks then perhaps it can be traced back to that reliance on him in the middle of the park.

With Liverpool not involved in Premier League action once more until they visit Bournemouth on January 21, there was already merit in giving Szoboszlai a rest of sorts before the injury was sustained against Newcastle.

That might yet be a decision that gets taken out of Klopp’s hands but the recent scare involving Gravenberch was later diagnosed to be simply a fatigue-related problem and it would be no surprise to see Szobosozlai suffer a similar fate given his workload already this term.

Such have been the demands placed on Szoboszlai since his arrival that only two other outfield summer signings have been used more in their maiden campaigns in English football in Illia Zabarnyi (1775) of Bournemouth and Chelsea’s Axel Disasi, who has featured for just three minutes more than the Liverpool man.

Only 10 midfielders across the entire Premier League have played more minutes at this stage of the campaign and none of them are new to a league that becomes a particularly punishing one between December and January. That, perhaps inevitably, is what has led to the hamstring twang that Liverpool are now sweating on.

Any good news might yet present Klopp with a reprieve and the chance to wrap his big-money summer signing in cotton wool for a couple of weeks.

The alternative means being without a key midfielder at a time when Alexis Mac Allister is only just back after close to a month out and Wataru Endo is also absent with Japan.



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