Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he doesn’t know when Thiago Alcantara will return.
It speaks volumes about the depth of talent in the Liverpool squad that, despite missing nine players, they still managed to swat Leicester City aside.
The build-up to Saturday night’s clash at Anfield was dominated by one thing: Liverpool’s growing absentee list.
Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez won’t be seen again for a long time, while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson will miss the next few weeks at least. Mohamed Salah was also forced to miss the Leicester game after testing positive for coronavirus during the international break.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rhys Williams and Xherdan Shaqiri were also missing, but it barely made a difference as a threadbare Liverpool cruised to a 3-0 win over Brendan Rodgers’ men.
Another player missing on Saturday was Thiago Alcantara, who joined Liverpool in the summer to great fanfare.
Having bossed some of the biggest games over the last decade during his trophy-laden spells with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, there was a strong feeling that Thiago would elevate the Liverpool midfield with a stylish mix of creativity, intelligence and experience.
Yet Thiago’s Anfield career is yet to really take off. After an impressive 45 minutes against Chelsea, the 29-year-old played 90 minutes against Everton only to end up in a heap in the middle of Goodison Park having been scythed down by Richarlison.
That was five weeks ago and, much to the chagrin of Liverpool fans, Thiago hasn’t been seen since.
I don’t know when Thiago will return – Klopp
Unfortunately, a positive update on his potential return was not forthcoming from Klopp during the German’s press conference ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Atalanta.
“Thiago is not in team training yet,” said Klopp.
“When will he be in team training? I don’t know. We will see.
“I’m as surprised as the public. In the morning I come in, we have a medical meeting and they tell me ‘yes he is in, he is not’.
🗣”Hendo not, Trent not that is clear and all the rest we will see, who were the others” 🤣
Jurgen Klopp has even forgot his own long list of injuries this season for Liverpool pic.twitter.com/7Vp7N3vn6s
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 20, 2020
“I know it’s not too far anymore [for Thiago], but I have no idea.”
It is safe to say, then, that Liverpool’s injury concerns look set to continue. Naby Keita is also a doubt for the Atalanta game after hobbling off with a hamstring problem in the win over Leicester.
Even still, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if Liverpool, even with their decimated squad, tear through Atalanta like they did in Italy three weeks ago when they ran out 5-0 winners.