Injury to Fabio Carvalho means that new Liverpool signing Arthur Melo has to start against Napoli on Wednesday.
Carvalho was forced off at half-time during yesterday’s 0-0 draw with Everton. As a result, he is now likely to miss the game in midweek.
With options dwindling ever further in midfield, Arthur will now have to get up to speed with his new teammates very quickly.
Including the Brazilian, The Reds are now down to four senior options in the middle of pitch. The likes of Stefan Bajcetic can supplement those options. But given the difficulty of the trip to Naples, he shouldn’t be thrown in there. Arthur has to start.
Liverpool running out of options
Another injury was the last thing Jurgen Klopp would have been wanting on Saturday afternoon. And to another of his midfielders no less.
As things stand, Liverpool have four senior players who could start on Wednesday night: Harvey Elliott, Fabinho, James Milner and Arthur.
The elephant in the room is the situation regarding Curtis Jones. Jones returned to training earlier on in the week and was on the bench for Wednesday’s game with Newcastle United.
Despite this, the 21-year-old was nowhere to be seen on derby day yesterday. Liverpool could have really done with his invention from the bench on Saturday, but Jones missed out again.
There was no word from Klopp about the whereabouts of the midfielder. But given the quick turnaround to the game on Wednesday, it seems unlikely he’ll suddenly be involved again.
Aside from Arthur, the other three players have been heavily involved in recent weeks. Liverpool need them fresh and can’t afford to overload them.
It’s true that Arthur hasn’t played for a long while. But with a couple of days training under his belt, he’s simply going to have to be fine for a trip back to Italy.
Liverpool will be looking for reasons not to activate his £32m buy-clause. His road to prove why they should starts on Wednesday. Sink or swim time.