Yasser Larouci is set to miss the last two weeks of Liverpool’s pre-season campaign after suffering injury in a terrible tackle by Sevilla’s Joris Gnagnon.
The left-back has been one of the most impressive youngsters during the Reds’ summer games, taking his chance well to shine as a first-team opportunity arises.
Andy Robertson returned late after international duty and Alberto Moreno departed on a free transfer, meaning there’s a definite spot in the squad up for grabs if any youngster proves ready.
Larouci, along with Adam Lewis, was given his chance in the early games—and did so well that he appears to have edged out Lewis on tour, with the Scouser moving into midfield.
But that exciting progress for Larouci was ended with one vicious swipe of Gnagnon’s boot, leaving the 18-year-old sidelined for the upcoming period.
The club website says he has “heavy bruising in his femur bone” and needs monitoring over the coming days, though of course it could have been much worse.
Even so, being “ruled out for no more than a matter of weeks” means his contribution to the summer friendlies is over; the Community Shield is 11 days away and the first league game against Norwich just 17 days away.
Of course, there was little chance of Larouci forcing his way into the team immediately, but playing against the likes of Sporting or Napoli would have given Jurgen Klopp an indication of his current level and whether he could be called upon if Robertson picks up a knock.
As ever, though, a set-back for one is an opportunity for another.
Lewis is now likely to revert to being Robertson’s understudy, potentially playing some part against those same remaining opponents.
In recent seasons, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez have both made the most of fortuitous openings to earn a regular place in defence—as, indeed, did Robertson at left-back.
The challenge for Lewis is to prove his worth to do the same should the opportunity arise and ensure he’s fit and available for whenever Klopp wants to rest Andy Robertson.