LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 23, 2023: Liverpool's Luis Díaz goes down with an injury during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s big problem with injuries that Arne Slot will need to address – and fast

It is fair to say that Liverpool’s luck with injuries has been atrocious over the last two seasons, and that is a starting point for Arne Slot in his first campaign at the helm.

In his first interview as head coach of Liverpool, Slot said: “I have all the confidence in this (building on last season) because of the players.

“That we can add a few things where we hopefully can get a bit more points than 82, which is necessary with the likes of Arsenal and City, to end up hopefully a bit higher than we did this season.”

One of the big factors behind the Reds finishing on 82 points last season was the injury list, which saw too many players overplayed to compensate and thus run out of gas at the death.

It was not a new phenomenon as it is a battle Liverpool have faced all too often, leaving Slot with a key area for improvement.


670 games missed across 2 seasons!

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 25, 2024: Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch is treated for an injury during the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

To put the injury woes into perspective, Liverpool had 22 senior players miss a game due to injury in 2023/24, combining for a total 362 games missed.

In the season before that, 23 Reds were sidelined with at least one fitness issue – they as a group missed 308 games.

It is an absurd number, to say the least, and it is not sustainable in the slightest.

Jurgen Klopp used 35 and 33 players respectively over the previous two campaigns, which means 62.8 percent and a subsequent 69.9 percent of the squad missed at least one match due to injury.

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Thursday, July 21, 2022: Liverpool's #6 Thiago Alcântara during a pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. Liverpool won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If we want to look at the positives, it presents opportunities to young players, and without the crisis in the season just gone we would not have seen the likes of Jayden Danns, Lewis Koumas and James McConnell.

Conversely, it does little for consistency or a serious attempt at silverware.

Liverpool dropped off in 2023/24 to leave Man City and Arsenal to take the title to the final day, and it is no wonder as they both recorded only 14 individual player injuries across the campaign.

The discrepancy was telling and it must be a starting point for Slot.


How can it change?

2M510EC Rotterdam, Amsterdam. 23 December 2022. Ruben Peeters of Feyenoord during the match between Feyenoord v Go Ahead Eagles at Nieuw Varkenoord on 23 December 2022 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Box to Box Pictures/Yannick Verhoeven) Credit: box to box pictures/Alamy Live News

There are injury-prone players in the squad, but as the ethos under Klopp was ‘intensity’ in training and matches, the medical department has always had to be at an elite level.

The latter point will not change despite the upheaval of personnel in the wake of the German’s departure, but there is an opportunity now to take on a different approach.

Ruben Peeters has been appointed as first-team lead physical performance coach and will be key in overseeing injury prevention, and Slot will work closely beside him.

Known to have a keen eye for detail, Liverpool’s recent history with injuries will not have gone unnoticed by the Dutchman.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 4, 2024: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté goes down with an injury during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As per the Mail, Peeters has worked with the boss previously on ‘microbiome manipulation’, which looks at how gut health can improve sporting performance.

At Feyenoord, they also closely monitored players’ sleeping patterns to optimise performance on matchday – routines that assisted with a low injury rate for the Dutch side.

Liverpool need to see improvements when it comes to injuries in 2024/25, let’s hope Slot and his team can deliver them.