3 May 2016

Liverpool Surprise: 'Brilliant' £55k-a-week midfield star set for shock Anfield return. Klopp to assess

On Thursday, Liverpool face Villareal in the Europa League semi-final, and ahead of the club's most important game of the season, it looks like one of the Reds' injured players may be on the verge of an early return to action.

According to the Liverpool Echo today:

"Can took part in a training session yesterday with players and...will be carefully assessed by Klopp and Liverpool's medical staff over the next few days".

Some Liverpool fans are foaming at the mouth with excitement over the possibility of Saint Can playing on Thursday, but in my view, it'll be irresponsible to start him against Villareal.

Ruptured ankle ligaments need proper time to heal, and after having his injury examined, the club stated that Can needed '4-6 weeks' of recovery time. How, then, will Can be fit just 2 weeks after that assessment?

Only fully-fit players should play on Thursday, and Can is obviously not fully-fit. Playing through the pain barrier shouldn't be an option, and with Lucas, Allen, Milner, and Stewart in the squad, there's no need for that anyway.

The Can propaganda is truly something to behold, with some fans claiming that Liverpool cannot win on Thursday without him in the team. This, of course, is nonsense, borne of spectacularly short memories.

The Reds may have lost a couple of games recently, but *with* Can, Liverpool lost 3-0 to West Ham; 3-0 to Watford; 3-2 to Southampton (after losing a 2-0 lead); 2-0 to West Ham (again), and 2-1 to Crystal Palace. The team also conceded 3 goals against Arsenal, 4 against Norwich, and another 3 against Dortmund.

The team should come before any individual, and it's simply not possible for Can to achieve in three days the level of match-fitness required for a high-intensity, physically draining Europa League semi-final.

On a related note: If Klopp rushes Can^ back into the team, and leaves Sturridge (who *is* match-fit) on the bench, then he'll deserve all the criticism that will inevitably come his way.

^ Hailed by James Milner as 'brilliant'. Reportedly on £55k-a-week.

Author: Jaimie K


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