By Lewis Thompson
Thiago has been dealt with yet another injury setback after making his first appearance since April 2023 against Arsenal on Sunday.
The Spaniard, who replaced Joe Gomez at the Emirates with five minutes remaining, has missed 281 days and 41 matches for Liverpool since his previous hip injury.
It’s a major blow for the midfield maestro as he is set for another period on the sidelines with a muscle problem but moreover, a major blow for The Reds as they prepare for another quadruple tilt to send their departing manager off in style.
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In the short-term, Jurgen Klopp will also be without Dominik Szoboszlai for Saturday’s visit of Burnley to Anfield, with the Hungary international struggling with a hamstring problem.
Liverpool fans were buzzing with excitement when training videos of the No 6 at Kirkby circulated around social media last week, but now the 32-year-old’s future is in limbo with his contract due to expire this summer.
It means Klopp may have to change the style for Vincent Kompany’s men at the weekend, with the returning Wataru Endo likely to be involved following his involvement with Japan in the Asian Cup.
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Alexis Mac Allister has held his own as Liverpool’s resident holding midfielder recently but may be forced to move into a more advanced position with Endo being the more natural defensive player out of the two.
That is only if Klopp feels Endo is match-fit and ready to start again, which is probable considering he played every minute as captain of his national side until they were knocked out by Iran in the quarterfinals.
Or, with Ryan Gravenberch still finding his feet, Harvey Elliot may be prepared to step up to the plate even though the 20-year-old has only started three times in the league this season.
Curtis Jones is certain to keep his place for Saturday with his recent impressive performances on top of being a major influence in Liverpool’s attack.
So, it’s really a toss-up for Klopp come Saturday, but it feels that Elliot remains the more sensible choice to give Endo the time to feel his way back into Premier League action.
With Ibrahima Konate serving a suspension, the list of Liverpool players out of contention is now considerable with Thiago, Szobozlsai, Ben Doak, Joel Matip, Kostas Tsimikas, Stefan Bajcetic and Mo Salah all unavailable.
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Having a player of Thiago’s undoubted quality, class, experience, sheer artistry and game-changing ability would’ve been a blessing for Klopp as the German prepares to enter the final throws of his Anfield stay.
Despite the Spaniard’s injury issues, whenever he has managed to put a run of games together he has looked every bit the player you’d anticipate someone with such a decorated and trophy-laden career to look like.
As it is, Liverpool will have to do without their classy midfielder and instead took to the youthful options to propel Klopp to unbridled glory once again.