The hope and expectation had been that a solid pre-season would help to find Nathaniel Clyne a new permanent home. Instead, he will spend the season—or at least the bulk of it—on the trainer’s table following a cruciate ligament injury.
According to multiple reports, a layoff of between six and nine months is expected, meaning that if all goes well, Clyne might begin training again towards the end of next January and could perhaps return to action a month after that.
The reality, though, is that injuries of this sort often see a player take closer to a year to regain full match fitness, and even in that best case scenario Clyne would only return to action with about two months still left to play in the 2019-20 season.
He is, then, highly unlikely to play a role for Liverpool this season despite that he will remain at the club, and as he is now entering the final year of his Liverpool contract he will in fact be eligible to sign a pre-contract before he’s back playing football.
It’s another setback for a player who for a time was arguably the best right back in the Premier League but who has found himself beset by injuries in recent seasons and fallen down the pecking order at Liverpool as a result of them.