Liverpool’s list of midfield targets may have narrowed further, due to an injury to Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha during a pre-season friendly.
It is imperative that at least one new midfielder be brought in, with the ideal scenario being to sign two, but it remains to be seen who will emerge as priority targets.
Fulham‘s Portuguese defensive midfielder Palhinha has been touted as an option by reliable sources, with the 28-year-old first linked back in March.
Significant news for Fulham (and West Ham) as Joao Palhinha is forced off with a shoulder injury. Received lengthy treatment & didn’t look in a good way. Fulham rejected £45m offer from West Ham last week. pic.twitter.com/K7mZZPZE8J
— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) July 23, 2023
But as his side’s pre-season preparations continued with a 3-2 win over Brentford in the US, Palhinha was struck down with a shoulder injury.
His shirt was fashioned into a makeshift sling by medical staff before he was replaced by Kevin Mbabu shortly before half-time.
Doesn't look good for Fulham as Joao Palhinha leaves in a sling…
Wishing you a speedy recovery, Joao ?
— Premier League (@premierleague) July 23, 2023
Later, he was seen leaving the Lincoln Financial Field in discomfort, with Fulham manager Marco Silva predicting a dislocated shoulder.
“Unfortunately it doesn’t look good,” he told BBC Sport.
“He’s probably dislocated his shoulder. Tomorrow he is going to do a scan and it will be more clear.
“Let’s hope it’s not another long-term injury for us.”
While the extent of Palhinha’s injury is as yet unclear, it is certainly not good news for the midfielder – and its timing could be decisive.
Liverpool are unlikely to bring in an injured player this summer, as the emphasis will be on signing immediate starters in the wake of Henderson and Fabinho‘s moves.
A similar situation may have unfolded with Borussia Monchengladbach’s Manu Kone earlier in the summer, with a knee injury on duty with the France under-21s seeing speculation fade.