After Daniel Sturridge made yet another comeback in Liverpool’s defeat to West Ham, we reveal the five Premier League players to have missed the most matches through injury in the last five years.
Daniel Sturridge – 86 matches missed
One of the most frustrating players in the Premier League. On his day Sturridge is one of the most lethal strikers in the country, but injuries have far too often prevented the England international from getting onto the field. Numerous hamstring, knee, hip, thigh, ankle and groin injuries have thwarted Sturridge over the past five years.
There have been suggestions some of the problems stem from the former Chelsea forward not being mentally tough enough, and in November Jurgen Klopp admitted Sturridge needs to learn the difference between “what is serious pain and what is only pain”. Liverpool fans would love nothing more than the 26-year-old returning to his best, but patience is starting to wear thin.
Jon Flanagan – 87 matches missed
Whereas Liverpool teammate Sturridge has suffered a series of niggling injuries, Flanagan’s promising career was stalled massively by one serious knee injury. After undergoing two operations, the right-back was sidelined for 629 days, missing the whole of the 2014/15 season, before returning to a rapturous Anfield reception last month.
Darron Gibson – 90 matches missed
Another player to have been cursed by a significant knee injury, Everton midfielder Gibson has endured a torrid couple of years, breaking his metatarsal after recovering from two serious setbacks.
The former Manchester United man is now fearing for his place in Martin O’Neil’s Republic of Ireland squad for Euro 2016 after failing to secure a loan move away from Goodison Park on deadline day.
Andy Carroll – 99 matches missed
Roy Hodgson must be counting his lucky stars for the emergence of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, as the England manager has had little luck with his backup strikers.
Having been somewhat harshly treated by Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool, Carroll has proven his quality at West Ham, only in all too brief flashes. The 27-year-old has made only 143 league starts – with a healthy return of 55 goals – in his career, despite having made his senior debut almost 10 years ago.
Jack Wilshere – 139 matches missed
Arguably the unluckiest player in the Premier League. Wilshere’s commitment cannot be questioned, but there are serious concerns about the fragility of the midfielder’s body.
Such is his quality, Barcelona great Xavi refuses to believe he is English, and both Arsenal and England’s chances are seriously improved by having the 24-year-old fit and available. After looking like a mainstay in the national side at one stage, it is a tragedy Wilshere has only collected 28 caps in six years.
All figures collected from transfermarkt.com.