Nathaniel Clyne opened up about how difficult the 2017/18 season was for him as he sat on the sidelines injured for several months.
Before he injured his back in pre-season, an injury that would see him out for 257 days, Clyne’s track record was nigh on perfect. He had previously missed just 8 games of football in 10 years as a professional footballer.
Last season, Clyne missed 44 games of football through injury and his spot at right back and in England’s World Cup squad have been taken over by none other than local lad Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Speaking to Goal’s Neil Jones in an exclusive interview, Clyne said: “They were tough times. It was difficult, for sure.”
Clyne continued: “To be out for so long is frustrating, and the fact that it came during pre-season probably made it even worse.
“Then to eventually have to have surgery, that was another setback, it was tough.
“You’re there, and the players are all going out to train while you’re off to the gym or the physio room, day after day.
“You’re on the bike or whatever, and that’s all you can do. It does affect you.”
Another England international in Danny Rose recently spoke to the Independent’s Miguel Delaney about how depression set in due to his long-term injury coupled with other stressors.
“It wasn’t easy,” Clyne admitted. “When I came back it was the business end of the season, so the games were big and had a lot riding on them, so to have to go straight in was a test for me.
“But it was important for me to get a few minutes under my belt, get a taste for it again and set me up to go again in pre-season.
“I’ve worked hard to get my fitness back, and I can feel the benefits. I’ve been working hard, the club gives us regimes to follow even during the off-season so that we keep ticking over. I probably need that more than others because I’ve been out so long, so I’ve already been doing bits.
“I feel as fit as ever and I’m already looking forward to the start of pre-season. It’s about proving to people now that I’m back and I’m as good as ever.”
Having Clyne back next season will be massive for Liverpool as it means that alongside Trent and Joe Gomez, the Reds have three right backs.
Depth at fullback means that Jürgen Klopp can focus on strengthening other areas of his squad to ensure there are enough players to launch a challenge on the Premier League while coping with domestic and European football.