Yesterday we were hit with the gutting news that Nathaniel Clyne will miss six months with an ACL injury, but today, Jurgen Klopp has shared some better information on currently sidelined midfield duo Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Both will be back in training next week, with the manager suggesting both will look to get minutes in the fixtures against Napoli or Lyon before the season begins.
On top of those two, we’ll have Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Alisson – then eventually Sadio Mane, following his trip to the AFCON Final.
“We have an important week ahead of us at Evian for a proper training camp,” Klopp told the Echo.
“We have a very tricky game against Napoli and then the game against Lyon we organised pretty much for the boys who are coming back.
“Hopefully they can get some minutes in that game. It will be really important.
“When we get back, hopefully six players can join us. Naby Keita should be ready to train hopefully, Xherdan Shaqiri should be ready to train and then hopefully play, Mo, Bobby and Ali and a week later Sadio Mane as well. They are important players for us.”
We’ve not looked great in pre-season so far, but most of our best players have been unavailable, quite simply.
There’s no doubt that when the world’s best keeper begins to marshall the backline again, Salah and Mane flank Firmino centrally and the likes of Keita and Shaq provide creative midfield options, we’ll be laughing.
At EOTK, we reckon Keita is going to have a terrific season. Before his injury at the back end of 2018/19, he’d got himself into the side and was starting to show his best level – confident on the ball and feisty off it.
Shaq’s role is less clear, but having a super-sub of such quality is a very good thing.