The international break is now over and the Liverpool squad are set to report back to Kirkby. But ahead of Saturday’s clash with Arsenal, who played the most minutes?
As ever, the March interval came as an unwelcome one for Liverpool, particularly on the back of consecutive victories over RB Leipzig and Wolves.
But there was a positive in the fact Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers were postponed, ensuring Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino were among those to remain on Merseyside, along with the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Milner.
Fatigue may be a consideration as Jurgen Klopp puts together his lineup for the Emirates, so who clocked more minutes than others while away on international duty?
Here’s the full rundown, from least to most.
Thiago – 53 mins
The quality in Spain’s midfield ranks explains this to an extent, but it is still a surprise that Thiago played the fewest minutes of any Liverpool international – over two substitute appearances, no less.
Kostas Tsimikas – 80 mins
A slight injury hampered Tsimikas’ break, which is perhaps fitting given his stop-start time with the Reds so far.
Naby Keita – 90 mins
Technically, Keita played the maximum number of minutes, as the midfielder was recalled before Guinea’s second Africa Cup of Nations qualifier of the break.
Curtis Jones – 108 mins
Jones was forced to bide his time with cameos in England’s first two group games at the U21 Euros, but made sure to make his mark as he started an unsuccessful final fixture, scoring one and picking up a red card late on.
Sadio Mane – 114 mins
Senegal manager Aliou Cisse was sensible with his use of Liverpool’s No. 10, fielding him for 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw with Congo before a short substitute’s role in their dead-rubber against Eswatini.
Xherdan Shaqiri – 125 mins
Talk about an impact; Shaqiri is Switzerland’s go-to man, and a goal and two assists in three winning appearances is a hugely positive break for the midfielder.
Diogo Jota – 153 mins
Another who really made his minutes count, Jota’s three goals mean he scored one every 51 minutes on average for Portugal this month.
Mohamed Salah – 180 mins
Egypt’s talisman, Salah unsurprisingly played every minute as they clinched their place at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, scoring twice in a 4-0 win over Comoros.
Ozan Kabak – 184 mins
Kabak is a first-choice starter for Turkey, and this was reflected in his game time during the international break, with it likely he would have started all three games were it not for illness.
Neco Williams – 205 mins
A surprise shout for the third-most minutes, Williams is an increasingly important figure for Wales, and clocked 205 minutes over two World Cup qualifiers and a friendly – largely from a new role as left wing-back.
Gini Wijnaldum – 259 mins
As Netherlands captain in Virgil van Dijk‘s absence, it was no shock to see Wijnaldum pick up so many minutes while on duty, and he capped it with a goal and an assist.
Andy Robertson – 270 mins
Just as with Liverpool, Robertson tops the charts for his country this month, on the pitch for every minute of Scotland’s draws with Austria and Israel and their 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands, assisting the fourth goal in the latter.
The full breakdown
* Statistics courtesy of Transfermarkt