Liverpool defender Joel Matip has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a foot injury.
The 28-year-old was hurt in the newly-crowned champions’ goalless draw at Everton on June 21, their first match after the Premier League resumption.
Matip was absent as the Reds thrashed Crystal Palace 4-0 last week and he is now set to miss their remaining seven games.
Matip told the club’s website, Liverpoolfc.com: “This season I will be not back on the pitch but, for next season, I hope I’m going to be – quite early – a direct help for the team.”
Liverpool face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday in their first match since the title was secured.
Matip has played nine times in the Premier League this season and signed a new contract that will keep him at Anfield until summer 2024 in October 2019.
The former Schalke defender’s future at Anfield looks safe, despite the Bochum-born centre-back’s struggle to assert himself as Virgil van Dijk’s long-tern defensive partner.
Also the fact that Jurgen Klopp has hinted that there will be no big-money arrivals this summer makes Matip look like a semi-permanent fizture at Anfield.
No big spending for Klopp
The club have already stepped aside in deciding not to compete with Chelsea for the £54million signing of RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner.
“Covid has of course influenced both sides with ins and outs, that is completely normal, and it’s just not likely that it will be the most busy summer in the world,” Klopp said.
“But maybe at a later point in the year, if the transfer window is still open, we will know more. But this squad…look at it.
“It is not a squad you have to change now and say ‘OK, we need this position and this position’.”