With the transfer window two months away and Liverpool’s threadbare squad losing yet another midfielder to injury ahead of the season entering its pointy end, juicy transfer rumours are — for once — less interesting than injury rumours. Thus, it takes little for panic to take hold of the fan base when an unvetted piece of speculation hits social media.
On Thursday, Sadio Mané, first-choice left-side attacker, playmaker, and crucial piece of Liverpool’s 88-goal front line, was reportedly spotted limping into a hospital in Liverpool, spending thirty minutes inside, before limping back out. Shortly after, Ben Smith, formerly of BBC and with appreciable connections inside Anfield, posted on Twitter that the Senegalese forward would miss the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury.
As it is wont to do, the fan base went into meltdown mode, peppering Smith with questions and demands, upon which the reporter deleted the tweet. As images from the day’s training session were released, it appeared Mané was missing from training, further driving the narrative headfirst into the catastrophe realm.
The most recent update from club-connected sources were courtesy of Neil Jones, who could confirm that Mané had missed training, and that Jürgen Klopp would address the matter at Friday’s Stoke pre-match press conference.
Disaster, then. Or not. The Liverpool faithful will have to hold their collective breath for another 12 hours as they await final judgement from the manager, but there is no doubt that an injury to Mané at this point would constitute a considerable blow to the club’s chances of glory in the league run-in and a potential Champions League final.
Thoughts, prayers, and telekinetic healing powers would all be appreciated in this difficult time.