Liverpool: Injury news for first-team stars; praise from Manchester United legend; Grujic speaks out
Emre Can has handed Jurgen Klopp a massive boost ahead of Friday’s trip to Stamford Bridge as it has emerged that the German midfielder is likely to be fit enough to play a role, having returned to full training with his teammates yesterday, claim the Liverpool Echo.
Having returned from Euro 2016 late to pre-season, the ankle injury picked up in EFL Cup action at Burton Albion has meant a frustrating start to the season for the 22-year-old, but he is likely to have an important part to play this season in a holding midfield role alongside the likes of Georgino Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson.
Dejan Lovren is also expected to return after missing out on the first home fixture of the season last weekend with a nasty black eye picked up in training. With no signs of concussion, the Croatian will soon rejoin training and is likely to be the preferred option alongside Joel Matip to deal with the physical and aggressive Diego Costa on Friday night. Lucas Leiva performed admirably, bar one moment of madness last weekend, but is expected to miss out on retaining his place, instead having to settle for a
There has also been some praise of the club and it’s manager from the most unlikely of places this week as Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson. Speaking at a UEFA event of technical observers on last year’s Europa League campaign, the retired Scottish manager said:
He’s bought into the fans. And the support have taken to him because he’s shown that enthusiasm on the touchline, with his energy and his personality when he’s jumping out there. I think both suit each other.
Such praise is unexpected from a man who spent much of his career trying to displace Liverpool as the number one club in the country, but it is no secret that the 74-year-old is a fan of the former Dortmund boss. That said, he did not go overboard with his praise for the club that became his nemesis, blaming the German for failure in the second half of the Europa League final against Sevilla, saying:
In the second half Liverpool had no energy, they could not get to the ball. The space in midfield became bigger. I never had a team who could press a ball all season.
One man far happier to adapt to Klopp’s style of pressing is new arrival Marko Grujic, the manager’s first signing at the club in January who has now returned from a loan spell to Red Star Belgrade, his previous club, included in the deal. After an impressive pre-season, the 20-year-old has been on the bench in all four Premier League games to date but has only made it onto the field of play in the defeat at Turf Moor.
However, the Serbian is patient and has told the Liverpool Echo that he believes his best form will come next season:
For the first season I just want to learn from these guys. I have the big pleasure of playing with some of the best footballers in the world. I want to get some minutes and games to try and improve myself for the future. I think next season will be the one where I show what I can do.
There is no doubting his quality and physical attributes on the ball, and for a midfielder he contributes well on the goal scoring front, but Grujic will have to keep up the hard work to force his way into an in-form Liverpool team.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Habergaraj.
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