Liverpool doctor Andy Massey told the BMJ talk medicine podcast that the club’s recruitment values robust players above all else.
Since he joined Liverpool, Roberto Firmino has missed a miserly 14 games through injury and three of those games missed came as a result of Jan Vertonghen poking his finger into Bobby’s eye.
The Brazilian is the epitome of what Liverpool’s recruitment team wants in a player; strong, quick, talented and robust.
Massey said: “It’s probably 40 games minimum if you take the 38 league games and a minimum of two [in the cup] and that can often creep up to 60 or 65 games, so we have a number of systems in place [to manage workloads].
“I guess the first one is recruitment of players, found certainly at Liverpool and plenty of other Premier League clubs, who recruit players for the systems that they use now.
“You want not only to recruit talent, but recruit robust players that you know are going to be able to manage the minimum 40 games a season.”
Firmino played 58 games last season and missed just five games due to injury which highlights the incredible work that Liverpool’s medical staff are doing to ensure Klopp’s players are available to him as often as possible.
Liverpool refused to pay £53m for Nabil Fekir last season due to concerns they had over the Frenchman’s knee injury history and those tasked with recruitment felt that it was too much of a risk to sign him.
Looking back on the success of last season, it might have been an inspired decision.