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Alisson injury leads Liverpool to put ‘a plaster on a problem they could do without’ – Aldridge

16:56 GMT+3 13/08/2019
Alisson Liverpool 2019-20
The former striker is concerned by an untimely setback for the Brazilian goalkeeper and the Reds’ ability to avoid running out of steam this season

Alisson’s untimely injury has forced Liverpool to “put a plaster on a problem they could do without”, says John Aldridge, with questions also being asked of the club’s ability to sustain their high-tempo football throughout the 2019-20 campaign.

Jurgen Klopp saw his side burst out of the blocks in a season opener against Norwich, with Anfield witnessing a comfortable 4-1 win for the hosts.

A positive evening for the men from Merseyside was, however, tainted by an unfortunate setback for first-choice goalkeeper Alisson which is set to keep him sidelined for several weeks.

Liverpool added former West Ham shot-stopper Adrian to their ranks over the summer, and will use him as cover, while a short-term deal has been done with former Leeds and Bolton keeper Andy Lonergan.

Aldridge hopes the blow between the sticks does not prove costly for the Reds, with defensive issues having arisen over the summer before the Brazil international added to the headache faced by Klopp.

The former Liverpool fromtman told the Irish Independent: “Liverpool’s defence has not been right throughout the pre-season, with those flaws illuminated once again as Norwich had four very good chances to score in the first half and must have wondered how they went in at half-time 4-0 behind.

“A team with better quality attacking players would have punished a Liverpool defence that doesn’t seem to have found the right balance in recent weeks, with the concern over the goalkeeper now the most pressing issue for Klopp.

“After Simon Mignolet left to join Club Brugge, Adrian has been signed on a free transfer after he was released by West Ham, but the back-up keeper is not in place if anything happens to him ahead of next Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup match against Chelsea in Istanbul.

“Young Irishman Caoimhin Kelleher is a fine talent, but he has only just resumed training after a wrist problem, with the youngsters behind him in the pecking order not ready to play first-team football yet.

“I don't know what would happen if Adrian got injured now, with the signing of Andy Lonergan on a short-term deal putting a plaster on a problem Liverpool could do without.”

While hoping that the Reds have done enough to counter their keeping problems, Aldridge admits that he remains concerned about the impact summer international tournaments will have on a side chasing down the Premier League title and seeking to defend their Champions League crown.

He added: “These international tournaments during the summer months need to be looked at and I can’t believe the clubs have not made demands for changes to be made to ensure there is conformity across the world on when these events are played.

“Why can’t the African Cup of Nations and the Copa America tournaments be played at the same time as the European Championships, ensuring that all the players are away at the same time and their employers have a reasonable amount of time to get them ready for the new season? Is that too much to ask?

“Every player wants to play for his country and I treasure all of my Ireland caps, but it seems unfair that [Sadio] Mane was still playing for Senegal in the middle of July and then has to come back to Liverpool and play in the Premier League a few weeks later.

“There is a danger that Liverpool’s players will run out of steam at some point in this season as some of the players have not had a proper break this summer and while I am of the view that players should never get tired, modern footballers are very different and the sports scientists around them will tell them they are tired by looking at data on a computer screen.”