Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been handed a double injury boost as he prepares to welcome back Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to the squad before they tackle Nottingham Forest on Saturday. The pair have been sidelined with long-term injuries sustained during pre-season but there are encouraging signs the Reds duo could return in the approaching weeks.
Keita is yet to make a Premier League appearance this season and there have been concerns over his long-term future on the club on account of his injury record. The 27-year-old has missed 72 games in his 4 seasons on the club since his £65million switch from RB Leipzig and his current deal is ready to run out in 2023.
However the Guinean has handed Klopp an enormous boost after returning to motion in training at Kirkby this week, as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury. Keita gave the impression to be in good spirits as he good back to basics in training, despite reports that the central midfielder was unhappy along with his situation at Anfield.
He was spotted being put through his paces by Liverpool coaches, sprinting as fast as possible and dribbling with the ball in between cones on Thursday. That shall be thought to be an encouraging sign for Klopp, who has seen his midfield options depleted by injuries and suspension this season.
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One other positive indicator for the German boss is the gradual return of Oxlade-Chamberlain to full training. The 28-year-old was spotted pinging shots towards goal at backup goalkeeper Adrian in training and the Reds midfielder looked in impressive condition as he targets a comeback.
The previous England international has been affected by injury since suffering an ACL injury during a Champions League semi-final match against Roma 4 years ago. And when he has been fit, Chamberlain has not been capable of break into the primary team under Klopp.
The Liverpool boss has an abundance of options to select from ahead of their trip to the City Ground to face Steve Cooper’s Forest side, with Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho the most probably options for use.
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Harvey Elliott, Fabio Carvalho and James Milner have also been used as makeshift central midfielders this season, although the latter has been forced to deputise within the wake of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s recent injury.
Things are falling into place for Klopp after a difficult begin to the season, along with his side now as much as seventh within the Premier League following back-to-back 1-0 wins over Manchester City and West Ham.
And with the news of Keita and Chamberlain being on the mend, Klopp will feel more hopeful about their probabilities of putting together a run of form in the approaching weeks.