Liverpool went out and spent this past summer to improve their squad depth ahead of a return to Europe. Instead, thanks to a slew of injuries, they head into the weekend and a match against West Bromwich Albion looking nearly as thin as they did last season. What's worse is that most of the injuries have been suffered in training or while players have been on international duty.
News emerged today that midfielder Suso picked up a knock while travelling with the squad for Wednesday's dire Champions League loss to FC Basel. More specifically, he picked up a groin injury and will require surgery and a minimum of two months away from the action to recover. After a promising cameo against Middlesborough in the League Cup, it's another blow for Suso. And for Liverpool.
Then, at his pre-match press conference today ahead of Saturday's West Brom match, manager Brendan Rodgers admitted that he expects none of Liverpool's currently injured players back for the weekend. There had been hopes that Daniel Sturridge and Joe Allen might be fit enough to take part, but in the end neither is considered in contention despite that the match is still two days away.
"I'm not here to moan about injuries," said Rodgers when asked about the impact having seemingly lost half his starting options in recent weeks has impacted performances, with Liverpool struggling both domestically and in Europe. "We need to get back to our core principles and get back to keeping it as simple as we can with the players we do have at the moment."
The international break should allow for Sturridge and Allen at the very least to return to fitness, and there's an outside chance Joe Allen and Mamadou Sakho could also return towards its end. In the meantime, though, there are nothing but questions for Saturday given Wednesday's loss was one of the worst of Rodgers' Liverpool career and a number of players looked tired or indifferent.
Now he heads into the weekend with no realistic options for swapping out any of them, or for giving needed rest to the likes of Raheem Sterling or Steven Gerrard, both of whom looked utterly exhausted and ineffective in the second half against Basel.