Ben Dinnery has suggested that Jurgen Klopp needs to more carefully manage the return of Virgil van Dijk.
The owner of the Premier Injuries site claimed that overplaying the Dutchman at this early stage could unsettle summer signing Ibrahima Konate, beyond risking an injury to the No.4.
“A return to play is rarely black and white,” the injury expert told Football Insider.
“There is a wider circle in and around this. If you ask Van Dijk now, can I play two or three games a week? He would say yes, 100%, no question.
“He’s a footballer, that’s what he does. Klopp needs to consider the risks of that thought. He missed 10 months. He also needs to look at the squad in general.
“If you are Konate, the big summer signing, and you are seeing a player coming back from injury starting ahead of you. You will be questioning why you aren’t being given the opportunity.
“Rotation is key, not just for injured players but for players you want to play later on. Match conditions cannot be recreated on the training pitch.”
The former Southampton star had suffered a long-term injury last season, which kept the centre-half sidelined for much of the campaign.
Konate is far from being the first summer signing that Klopp has kept on the sidelines until he feels they are ready to make a more regular contribution – or until an opportunity presents itself.
Ideally, of course, we wouldn’t like to see that opportunity being an injury to either one of our in-form centre-halves in Van Dijk or Joel Matip.
Given the Cameroonian’s history of struggles in that regard, we’d expect to see our sole signing from the window be slowly integrated into the first-team.
Having said that, the Frenchman will face some stiff competition in the form of former starter Joe Gomez.