Despite the news of Steven Gerrard’s injury this week, Brendan Rodgers can welcome the feeling of having two new signings when January comes around.
Following the diagnosis on the skippers hamstring injury picked up in the win over West Ham, as well as Daniel Sturridge’s ankle problem, the recovery time for the two is almost identical meaning Rodgers can welcome two of his star attractions back into a side that will be looking to nail down a top four finish.
However, before the new year comes around the Northern Irishman has the concern of rotating his options during the busiest period of the season. Gerrard’s injury has left him shorter than he would’ve liked in midfield.
Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson have all featured there this season and will be the likely contenders to fill the void left by our no.8 during his absence. With around six games in just under three weeks the options to rotate and freshen up his midfield pack are limited, leaving Rodgers hoping his Irish roots bring him luck in regards to the number of injuries in that period.
On the flipside of that, it gives players on the fringes of the first team a surprise opportunity to get some much needed first team action. The one name that really suits this tag is Luis Alberto.
The Spaniard arrived in the summer and has appeared fleetingly from the bench so far this campaign as Brendan Rodgers appears to be slowly introducing him to English football. The lack of starts given to the 21-year old has been a bone of contention amongst some Kopites but his opportunity to impress from the kick off will surely come in the next few weeks, quite possibly at home to Cardiff City a week on Saturday.
Having covered the central midfield options the next question Brendan Rodgers has to answer is who takes over the captains armband during this four to six week gap. Daniel Agger is the official vice-captain but with the defensive choices being rotated quite frequently this season there’s no guarantee that the Dane will even be in the starting XI to take up his responsibilities.
The contenders for this role, you would think, would be Kolo Toure due to his vast experience or even the likes of Lucas or Martin Skrtel thanks to the length of time they’ve been at the club. Jordan Henderson also boasts experience wearing an armband having captained the England U-21’s and his selection could point to the future of the club, much like the options in midfield during Steven Gerrard’s absence.
Looking to the future, as well as the present, in the next few weeks and should Liverpool find themselves unscathed, in terms of points tally and injuries, then the return of Gerrard and Sturridge could really set them up well for the remainder of the season.