With few options in the senior squad heading into tomorrow's trip to Bournemouth, Brendan Rodgers sounded out the possibility of using youngsters throughout the squad; the manager picked out Brad Smith, Jordan Rossiter, and Cameron Brannagan by name, and further rumors this evening had Stephen Sama and Joao Teixeira in the running for places.
The likelihood that one or more of the aforementioned names will make the trip and the squad has grown exponentially given injury concerns of late, and there's another blow for Rodgers to deal with as Joe Allen is reportedly ruled out yet again after only just making a return from an absence that extended nearly a month post-Chelsea.
From the Liverpool Echo:
Allen, who only returned to action against Aston Villa last weekend following three weeks out with a groin problem, didn't travel to the South Coast. He joins Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique, Mamadou Sakho, Lucas Leiva and Glen Johnson on the sidelines. It's unclear whether the £15million man will also miss Tuesday's Merseyside derby against Everton.
That last line is the most concerning, as Allen's absence would all but guarantee a two-man midfield of Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson, which combined to absolutely horrific effect in the first half against Aston Villa last weekend. Maybe Luis Alberto joins them to provide some stability and retention, but the loss of Allen would be a major concern against Everton, who would relish the prospect of facing the same disastrous formation Rodgers initially selected against Villa.
If this extends into something more serious, there's no way Liverpool can avoid pursuing additional midfield reinforcements. He can talk all he wants about turning to youth rather than the transfer market, but if Liverpool's season is going to be remotely successful, they need more, and they need it quickly.