Liverpool have had an incredible season, battling all the way to the Champions League final and securing a second successive season among Europe’s elite.

Jürgen Klopp’s men demonstrated that Liverpool remain a mighty club this season, finishing fourth in the Premier League and facing Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final.

Despite suffering a string of injuries and a disappointing final in Kyiv, Liverpool have a talented group of players. This article discusses the players we wish were going to the World Cup this year, but are unable to attend due to either injury or their country not having qualified.

Mohamed Salah was left off this list as he still might feature for Egypt, with the BBC reporting that the Egyptian FA are optimistic he would be fit for Russia.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The talented midfielder won’t be heading to Russia as he has picked up a season-ending knee injury during Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final against Roma. Since Chamberlain chose Merseyside over Chelsea, he has become an invaluable part of Klopp’s outfit.

The Ox will be feeling an unfortunate sense of deja vu, as he was ruled out of World Cup 2014, Euro 2016 and now Russia – not the sort of hat trick players generally look for.

Chamberlain will be missed as he has all the qualities Southgate needs for the England squad: pace, physical power and the ability to pressure.

Danny Ward

The Welsh international stopper distinguished himself while on loan to Aberdeen, with an impressive 13 clean sheets in all competitions in 2016, and helped Huddersfield Town gain promotion to the Premier League the following year.

With Simon Mignolet slated to leave, Ward might get his own promotion at Liverpool and become number two at the club.

 

He will, unfortunately, miss this year’s World Cup as Wales finished 3rd in their Group D qualifying, 2 points short of the Republic of Ireland. To add insult to injury, Ward’s passport was lost in the post, preventing him from travelling to the China Cup with Wales.

Virgil van Dijk

Dutch centre-back van Dijk has distinguished himself at the Merseyside club and has been the ideal central defender; a very smooth ball-playing defender with remarkable aerial prowess, sharp skills from dead ball situations, and leadership abilities.

Tactically and spatially aware, his experience has given him the anticipation and timing associated with a well-rounded defender. We mentioned in an earlier article on Rousing The Kop that van Dijk suffered an abdominal abscess 8 years ago which almost ended his football career.

Despite that, he has persevered and is in better shape than ever. He too, however, will miss out on the World Cup this year, with the Netherlands being one of the shock absences from next month’s tournament.

Nathaniel Clyne

Clyne has had a nightmare of a season after sustaining a back injury during a pre-season game in July. Clyne picked up another injury in November which put him out longer due to minor surgery being needed.

The right back returned to the pitch in March. After struggling for game time since his return to fitness, Tottenham’s Kieran Trippier edged ahead of the injured Clyne to secure his place in the squad.

Andrew Robertson

Starting his Merseyside career in 2017, after having transferred from a successful three years with Hull City where he was instrumental in their promotion to the Premier League the previous season, Robertson earned praise from fans at Liverpool.

With over 20 caps for Scotland, the talented 24-year-old left back will unfortunately join other players in watching the tournament from home, as Scotland failed to secure a spot in Russia this year.

Scotland finished 3rd in Group F qualifying tied for points with Slovakia.

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