Divock Origi’s injury provides the first real test of Liverpool’s quiet summer. The Reds opted not to sign any outfield first-team players in the transfer window.
Jurgen Klopp announced on Monday that Origi will be out for a short while.
“The update on Div is that it is not too serious,” he said, via Liverpoolfc.com. “We expect him [to be out for] between one and two weeks, but it depends a little bit on when he can deal with the pain.
“It is nothing really; it’s a feeling, but it should be fine.”
But it does mean that Liverpool are without their primary backup for two crunch games. First, there’s a trip to Napoli – the toughest game in their Champions League group.
Then, on Sunday, Liverpool travel to Chelsea. That will be one of the toughest league games of the season and may be even more important than Tuesday’s.
And not having Origi means some reliance on Xherdan Shaqiri and Rhian Brewster, the other forward options. Neither have played much thus far – Brewster is yet to even debut – but rotation may be necessary.
Liverpool will want two wins but will have to do so without a full squad. Klopp wanted to rest Roberto Firmino on Saturday, too, but Origi’s injury meant he couldn’t.
It’s these moments where people will judge Liverpool’s summer and their decision to stick with what they’ve got. Can Brewster and Shaqiri offer adequate cover? We’ll soon find out.
But it’s one thing to see how they do against the likes of Newcastle United – where we thought Brewster may play. It’s another thing entirely to face Napoli and Chelsea away.
They’re big games where proper players are needed, not just reasonable squad options. If Liverpool can get through a tricky week with maximum points, their summer suddenly looks a lot more reasonable.
They’ll prove they already had what they needed to get through these periods and you can’t ask for much more than that.