Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he might need to rethink his handling of midfielder Adam Lallana’s fitness. The England international missed the first four months of the campaign after sustaining an injury in pre-season. He made a return in November as a substitute against Chelsea but then missed four games that followed, after a minor setback.
Lallana now has sat out the past two matches with a muscle injury and missed the 3-0 win at Huddersfield Town on Tuesday. The 29-year-old is considered a big doubt for the weekend’s mouthwatering clash against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield.
Ahead of the game against Spurs, Klopp explained why he needs to take extra care of the player and make smart decisions in bringing him back to full fitness.
“It’s really unlucky. It was a really serious injury in the summer. Because of Adam’s quality and attitude in training, it looks immediately like we can put him in, [but] physical-wise he’s not fit,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“The two things that happened after his big injury were in the 10 or 15 minutes after he came on. From nil to 100 in a second, and that’s maybe what caused the problem.
“We really tried to be sensible with it, to do the right thing. But it didn’t work, twice. It’s really not a big thing, three games is like not being injured.
“He’s maybe available for Tottenham, and if not then he’ll have missed three games. That’s really OK but of course it’s not cool. The body needs to adapt again to the intensity.”
The Liverpool manager also explained that the return of Lallana played a major role in the Reds not opting to bring in a replacement for Philippe Coutinho in January. The Brazilian departed for Barcelona in the summer and there were cries from the fans to replace the playmaker last month.
But Klopp insists Lallana’s return to fitness from injury was the reason behind the club not deciding to replace Coutinho.
“People obviously ask “bring him in” because someone is injured and you need somebody else, but then the other one is coming again and you weaken both. It makes no sense,” Klopp was quoted by the Metro.
“You miss a player for a week and you think “okay we need another player”. In this situation, you really need to stay cool. It’s more difficult when you’ve lost two games but you need to be serious still.
“Yes, we could do something. But we need the right thing. The 100% right thing. For completely crazy money that really makes no sense. I’m not even sure that would work. And in the summer it looks different.
“That’s how it is. To do something just to have any solution? That makes no real sense, to be honest. That’s the situation.”
It will be an end to end stuff when Liverpool lock horns with Spurs at the weekend. Lallana, who has started just two games this season, is likely to miss the game on Sunday.