Even before The Coutinho Situation™ exploded into the hot mess that it currently is today, there were concerns about where the creative spark would come from in Liverpool’s midfield. It’s no secret that Adam Lallana is an important player in Jürgen Klopp’s master plan, which is why it was particularly disappointing to see the midfielder succumb to a long-term injury during preseason preparations, on the cusp of the new season.
When Lallana first went down in early August to a thigh injury, it was widely reported that he would be out for at least two, but most likely three months, meaning Liverpool would be without his unique skill set for much of the Champions League group stages (assuming the Reds get past Hoffenheim). Against Europe’s best, this was already a less-than-ideal situation, and the prognosis led to certain supporters’ fears about this transfer window going into overdrive.
Most recently, Paul Joyce, football correspondent for the Times, had suggested that Lallana’s recovery window might be even more dire, indicating that the midfielder might actually be unavailable until December. That would almost certainly have meant that Lallana would play no part at all in Liverpool’s Champions League group stage fixtures, creating a huge headache for Jürgen Klopp.
Those worries have been somewhat abated. On Sunday, Joyce stated via Twitter that the projections of a December return were incorrect, and that “Liverpool still expect November.” That’s certainly better than December, though the question of course still remains as to exactly when in November might Lallana be available. It hasn’t exactly helped that the club have been keeping their cards very close to the chest when asked about Lallana’s situation.
If it’s an early-to-mid November return, that would mean Lallana could be called upon not only for the usual Premier League holiday fixture congestion, but potentially also for the 5th and 6th Champions League group stage matches. It’s still far from an ideal situation for Liverpool, who labored to close the door on Crystal Palace this weekend. There’s still more than a week remaining in the transfer window, and it could be a momentous week for Liverpool’s prospects in the 2017-18 season.