Nathaniel Clyne played his first game in over seven months as he completed 90 minutes for Liverpool’s under-23 side on Sunday.
The defender has been sidelined since pre-season in July last year due to a back injury but completed the full 90 minutes in U23’s 4-0 win over Stoke in the Premier League Cup.
The England international played the entire game and returned back unscathed, drawing praise from Reds under-23s manager Neil Critchley.
“He has not played for seven months and the plan was to see how long he would go for. He kept putting his thumb up and saying he was OK,” Critchley told Liverpoolfc.com.
“He obviously wanted to see out the 90 minutes, which was great for him. I thought he was a great example to our players in the way he managed himself during the game, as well as Joe Gomez.
Clyne resumed full training with the first-team earlier this month and was added to the Champions League squad for the knockout stages of the competition, though he is unlikely to feature before the quarterfinal stage.
For team bonding, he also travelled to FC Porto with the entire squad for the first leg of Champions League round of 16, which we won 5-0.
Liverpool U23 won the Stoke fixture with utmost ease as Dominic Solanke netted a hat-trick at St. George’s Park.
On the 20-year-old’s hat-trick, Critchley added:
“And Dom with his goals as well, it was brilliant for our younger lads.”
“They were terrific goals, proper striker’s goals. You could see the confidence grow in him after his first goal with the right foot.
“His second goal with his left foot was a fantastic finish across the goalkeeper. And then a lovely tap-in at the end.
“All three – Joe, Nathaniel and Dom – were great examples for our players with the way they set the tone. It is great to see Nathaniel back and I’m sure all three will play a big part for the first team before the end of the season.”
It comes as a massive boost to see Clyne return to full fitness and complete the entirety of the U23s’ 4-0 win over Stoke City.
The former Southampton man has missed a large chunk of the season with the back injury but is finally back fit and it is certainly a welcome news.