Injury has been a real problem for Liverpool Football Club over the 2012/13 season with injuries to new signings Fabio Borini, and minor yet consistent injuries to Daniel Sturridge, and Pepe Reina. However, it is not just the first team who has suffered injuries. The Under-21s and the Under-18s have had several injury problems, which causes a lot of adaptation within Alex Inglethorpe’s and Steve Coopers’ sides, which as of late has affected results in their respective domestic leagues. Below is a guide of all the players who are currently injured and are out on loan, explaining the effect it has had in the team.
Out On Loan
Daniel Pacheco (Sociedad Deportiva Huesca)
The 22 year old striker has been down the pecking order in terms of strikers at Liverpool, and as a result has been loaned out to benefit his progress. The clubs he has been loaned out to include; Norwich, Rayo Vallecano and Sociedad Deportiva Huesca. Nicknamed ‘El Asesino’, Pacheco is currently on loan at Spanish 2nd Divison side SD Huesca, and in the nine games he has played he has produced two goals. He has been a key character in Alex Ingelthorpe’s side, scoring five goals, including one in a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace.
Danny Wilson (Hearts)
Having been at the club since 2010 after his transfer from Rangers for £2 million, 21 year old full-back Danny Wilson has struggled to make it into Brendan Rodgers’ side having only made two appearances for the club. The full-back has been an important figure for the U21s, but since his absence, Alex Inglethorpe has had to adapt by playing midfielder Craig Roddan in this position. Wilson is out of contract in summer and likely to leave the club.
Jack Robinson (Wolves)
Like fellow left-back Danny Wilson, Jack Robinson has found it hard to be a regular in the first team, therefore he was loaned out to Wolves to gain vital first team experience.
The 19 year old is the second choice left sided defender in Brendan Rodgers’ team, so many tip that he will be a first XI regular in years to come.
Since he is back-up for the first team, his academy role has been restricted this season, but at 19 years of age, the Englishman could still play a key part in Alex Inglethorpe’s side in years to come—though he will hope for more first-team experience, be it at Liverpool or in another loan spell.
Michael Ngoo (Hearts)
Having already added Danny Wilson to their squad, Hearts also signed fellow Red Michael Ngoo. Before his move, Ngoo was and still is the joint 3rd highest scorer for the U21s scoring five goals, and had a promising start to the U21 season. His move didn’t stop his confidence as he has already scored three goals for the SPL side in the 12 games he has played, including a debut goal and a shoot-out penalty in Hearts’ triumph over Inverness in the Scottish League Cup Semi-Final.
Samed Yesil (Anterior cruciate ligament)
Having signed for £1 million from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, Samed Yesil has had a difficult start to his Liverpool career. The 18 year old German international made his debut for Alex Inglethorpe’s side in a 4-1 victory over Chelsea U21s, and was called up to the first team for matches against Young Boys and Swansea City in September 2012. However his progress was halted after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament whilst playing for Germany U19s in February 2013, and is now out for the remainder of the season. He will be a huge loss for the U21s.
Jon Flanagan (Knee)
After making 14 appearances for the first team under Kenny Dalglish last season, Jon Flanagan looked like he would be a regular in the first team this season. However, due to injury and competition with other full backs such as Jose Enrique and Jack Robinson, as well as the rise of Andre Wisdom, Flanagan found it hard to find a place in the side. This meant he started the season in the Under 21s and began well, but in January 2013, he sustained a knee injury to keep him out for two months.
Marc Pelosi (Fractured tibia)
Next on the long list of absences is Under 21 midfielder Marc Pelosi. The American youth international was an important player for Alex Inglethorpe, starting regularly and before his injury, he scored 3 goals for the Under 21s.
He sustained the injury on 18th February 2013, in a 2-1 victory away to West Brom. The 18 year old is expected to be out for between 9 and 12 months.
Having initially arrived at the club as a versatile left-sided player, he had been operating in a more central midfield role prior to his injury.
Brad Smith (Ligament damage)
Australian born full back Brad Smith was on the verge of a first team call up and remains highly rated by both Alex Inglethorpe and Brendan Rodgers. However, injury prevented his progress as in January 2013, he suffered ligament damage off the ball in a 1-0 win over Southampton. This was also the same game that Jon Flanagan became injured. Unlike, Flanagan the 18 year old Englishman will be out for the rest of the season, but is expected to return for Liverpool’s pre-season tour of Australia.
Injuries have seriously affected the Under 21s and the Under 18s, even though all the absences are from the Under 21s squad. This is because Alex Inglethorpe has to play different players out of position, and call up players from the Under 18s. Consequently, this means that physical and mental fatigue could set in for these Under 18s, and this will have an effect on their domestic season. The Under 18s are currently third in their domestic league, 4 points off leaders Spurs. Additionally, the Under 21s have also suffered as they are also third in their league, and only have one win in their last four games. The rest of the season will be a stern test for both the age groups, but the Academy will hope to show the depth to be able to cope with such absences.