If Liverpool are to rebound and do that Liverpool thing they do where they look competent against top sides (before looking largely incompetent against the bottom half the next week) when they face Arsenal on the weekend, they will be doing it without Jordan Henderson.
The Liverpool midfielder’s responsible play has been key this season, and the team have consistently looked better when their captain is at the base of midfield. Without him against Leicester City, their cohesion was a major question mark. He wasn’t why they lost, but his absence hurt.
Despite hopes he would be ready to face Arsenal, it has now been confirmed by manager Jürgen Klopp that Henderson is not expected to be available to face the Gunners when Liverpool kick off against them from Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
“How long is ‘long-term’?” Klopp asked when pressed by reporters about his captain’s status following last night’s humiliating 3-1 defeat to the relegation-threatened Foxes. “It looks like he will not be ready for Arsenal. That’s how it looks. We will see.”
Henderson injured his foot in training on Friday and initially the hope had been that he would not miss any time as a result of the knock. That quickly turned into certain to miss Leicester and now it has become Arsenal as well. Beyond that, Klopp’s ’long term’ is a concern.
Following Arsenal, Liverpool take on Burnley before playing Manchester City and Everton to round out the month of March. Anything less than eight points in that stretch and the club can likely abandon any hopes of a top four finish.