With an all-important Arsenal fixture to contend with on Monday evening, Liverpool have a selection headache on their hands.
The club’s captain, Jordan Henderson, was forced off during their 1-0 victory last week against Bournemouth at Anfield – with a heel injury. The 25 year-old central midfielder has developed significantly over the past eighteen months and his role in the Reds’ side has grown; he’s now an integral part of Brendan Rodgers’ plans and the void left would be huge.
There are fears that if he does play through the pain barrier, he could be ruled out of action for a few weeks at the least, especially considering the discomfort he was in when he limped off against the Premier League newboys.
From an Arsenal perspective, a Liverpool side without Henderson would be a weakened side, which in turn would help the Gunners in their quest for victory. They have adequate replacements in the likes of Emre Can and James Milner who equally pose their own threats from midfield, but even so a game of such magnitude, especially so early on in the league campaign, could be too important for him to miss.
When asked about his condition, Henderson remained upbeat about his chances of featuring against Arséne Wenger’s men. He said he’s “getting asssessed day-by-day”, and that it is “all about pain, symptoms-wise”. However, he also admitted he was unsure when he’ll be okay, saying that he has “done something” with his heel so whenever he is running or walking he can feel it.
Whether he does play on Monday or not, is still a question mark. But if he doesn’t pass the fitness test and is indeed ruled out, it’ll be a big boost for Arsenal – one less important player to worry about. Perhaps they’ll be able to focus their attentions on quelling the threats posed by Philippe Coutinho and Christian Benteke, more than anything.