As Liverpool begins preparation for their next club friendly, on Friday night against AC Milan in the Dubai Super Cup, today’s training session brought a welcoming sight- the return of Darwin Nunez.
The £64m striker, this past summer’s splash signing, joined up with his mates after his international duty with Uruguay at the World Cup concluded. The traditional South American power was eliminated in the group stages.
Dubai Super Cup FYIs
Kickoff: 3:30pm UK, Friday Dec. 16, Al-Maktoum Stadium, Dubai
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The former Benfica striker is likely to feature in the Friday evening clash, and it is a welcome development, given all the fitness issues the squad is currently dealing with. Diogo Jota is still battling a serious calf problem, and he won’t be back in action until closer to February.
Then you have the Luiz Diaz situation. The Colombia international initially suffered a knee injury back in early October during a 3-2 defeat to Arsenal.
He had been closing in on a comeback, after he just returned to full training with the squad. However, he suffered a big setback in his recovery, after getting hurt during a Reds training session in Dubai.
Klopp said on Sunday in regard to Diaz:
“He is not in the best possible place [mentally], that is clear. It was a big disappointment for all of us and him as well. It was a nothing situation in training, honestly.
“And he felt something, he didn’t feel it a lot the next day but we wanted to be really cautious. So we said: ‘come on, let’s have a proper look’ and then the news came which was a proper smash in the face, but that’s it now.”
It has since come out that Diaz went back to Merseyside, where the medical staff advised knee surgery. The £49m signing will now be sidelined until March.
The Reds will also most likely be without the services of their players who advanced to the knockout round of the World Cup with their respective countries.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
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