Liverpool have learned exactly how long they will be without Thiago Alcantara after the midfielder hobbled off the field during Saturday’s Premier League opener against Fulham.
The Reds were far from their best at Craven Cottage and were fortunate to escape with a point from a 2-2 draw. Goals from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah saw Liverpool twice come from behind. Incredibly, they could have won it late on when Jordan Henderson hit the bar. But the truth is that would have been harsh on the Cottagers, who were good value for their point. And it was little surprise to see the pundits take two Liverpool stars to the cleaners during the match.
Liverpool’s day could not have gone much worse in all honesty. As well as being second best for large periods, they also lost talismanic midfielder Thiago to injury.
He hobbled off after 51 minutes to be replaced by Harvey Elliott. The early signs did not look good either, with the player clearly looking downbeat.
The Spain midfielder has since gone on to undergo a series of tests on that hamstring injury. And while Liverpool are yet to comment publicly, a leaked report has revealed just how long he faces on the sidelines.
To that end, Mundo Deportivo claims Thiago faces at least six weeks on the sidelines with the hamstring strain.
That means he will be sidelined for their next six Premier League games. That will see him missing out against Crystal Palace, Manchester United, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Everton and Wolves.
Depending on his recovery time, he will also be absent for at least matchday one, and possibly matchday two of the Champions League.
Liverpool eye move for Matheus Nunes
As a result, it’s little surprise to see Liverpool linked once again with a move for Matheus Nunes in the Portuguese press.
The injury to Thiago means he joins Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita on the sidelines.
As such, Jurgen Klopp suddenly finds himself low on options in the centre of the park.
As a result, reports in Portugal claim the Reds will now step up their hunt for Sporting Lisbon star Nunes.
They have been linked with Nunes for some time weeks now and will now reportedly push forward with plans to sign him.
Liverpool have a strong working relationship with Nunes’ agency, Gestifute, too. They represent Diogo Jota and were recently on Merseyside to negotiate the forward’s new Anfield deal.
As such, a deal would not be difficult for Liverpool to pursue, amid claims they will look to launch an opening £35m offer.
Thiago Alcantara often an injury struggler
Thiago, though, will be a major loss for Liverpool in the meantime.
After a difficult first season on Anfield, he’d started to show his true colours last season with some commanding displays. When fit, he is one of the first names on Klopp’s teamsheet.
Indeed, his partnership with Fabinho and Jordan Henderson was key as the Reds pushed to win the Quadruple last season.
A player with incredible vision and midfield control, he has proved an excellent signing from Bayern Munich.
If you’re picking out a weakness in his armoury, though, then you would say it’s his injury record.
He has spent several matches on the sidelines for the Reds during his two years at Anfield.
No one will be more disappointed than him at his latest injury setback, either.
The only consolation for Liverpool is that his injury is only a hamstring strain and not a serious tear.