Impressive young midfielder Ovie Ejaria is set to miss the rest of Liverpool’s pre-season preparations after suffering a groin injury.
The 18-year-old, who has been in fine form throughout the Reds’ warmup fixtures this summer, took a knock during Thursday morning’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in the International Champions Cup.
Ejaria sat out of Sunday’s 2-0 win over AC Milan as a result, and is now likely to miss three weeks of action.
That is according to the Liverpool Echo’s David Prentice, who rules Ejaria out for the final friendly of Liverpool’s tour of the US.
Jurgen Klopp’s side take on AS Roma at Busch Stadium in St Louis, Missouri in the early hours of Tuesday morning, as they continue to work on their fitness and sharpness ahead of 2016/17.
Ejaria, a reasonable performer for the Liverpool academy sides since his move from Arsenal in 2014, has enjoyed a remarkable surge in form with the first team.
His technical quality, tactical intelligence and powerful physique make him an ideal prospect for Klopp.
Typically stationed either as part a three-man midfield in a 4-3-3 or in the No. 10 role in a 4-2-3-1, Ejaria has shown his composure performing on a demanding stage.
He is set to drop down to Michael Beale’s U23s squad for the season, however, along with fellow tour youngsters Shamal George and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
His absence against Roma is a blow, joining Lucas Leiva, Joel Matip, Loris Karius, Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez on the treatment table.
But as the Premier League season swiftly approaches, Klopp now has a plethora of midfield talents at his disposal.
The addition of Georginio Wijnaldum, for example, will see the Dutchman take up a key role, while Marko Grujic is also set to be available against Roma after missing the win over Milan.
Furthermore, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Adam Lallana are all back and looking to slot into Klopp’s starting lineup, and Emre Can could make his first appearance of pre-season in St Louis.
After taking on Luciano Spalletti’s Roma, the Reds will travel back to the UK for a showpiece friendly against Barcelona at Wembley Stadium.
They will then conclude their pre-season preparations away to Mainz 05, before kicking off their league campaign at Arsenal on August 14.