The 2020/21 season started late across due to the lockdowns imposed in various countries to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. This meant that whenever the next season started, the fixture list would have been congested. This would impact the Premier League teams more as they compete in up to four high profile tournaments.
This has resulted in an unsurprising surge in player injuries due to either Covid-19, or physical injuries due to exertion. The witless decision to have International matches amongst a worldwide health crisis only adds to the misery.
The players are not only more exposed to the virus abroad, but the jet lag and physical strain of playing more than 2 games a week take its toll. This is on top of the fact that the players weren’t accorded any sort of an off-season break after the end of last season.
Liverpool are a prime example of a team suffering in this situation. The Reds have had a large chunk of players sidelined due to Covid-19 at different points in time. While Virgil van Dijk was ruled out for the season due to a mistimed tackle, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Andy Robertson have all been the victims of injuries caused by fixture congestion.
Here we look at the 10 big names in the Premier League who will miss the upcoming fixture(s).
Caglar Soyuncu (LEI)
Leicester City’s Turkish centre-back Caglar Soyuncu has been their rock at the back, especially after Harry Maguire left the foxes to join Manchester United. Soyuncu is out till mid-January due to an adductor tear suffered on International duty.
Wilfred Ndidi (LEI)
Another major player that Leicester City will be missing is midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, who has been their lynchpin in midfield. The Nigerian will be out until the New Year after an abductor injury in a Premier League clash against Burnley in September.
Joe Gomez (LIV)
Joe Gomez is one of many names that won’t be featuring for Liverpool anytime soon. In Virgil van Dijk’s absence, Gomez was seen as the first name on the team-sheet. However, a knee injury in England’s training camp last week has put Gomez out of action for a long spell, which some believe may even extend to March.
Danny Ings (SOU)
Southampton’s top-scorer forward Danny Ings has been crucial to the Saints, ranking them with the second-most league wins out of all Premier League clubs in the 2020 calendar year. A knee injury sustained in the 4-3 win against Aston Villa in late October has put the Englishman out until early December.
Martin Dubravka (NEW)
The Slovakian had started every Premier League game for Newcastle United since his arrival from Sparta Prague in 2018. Dubravka has missed the start of the season due to a heel injury picked up in training before gameweek 1 and still hasn’t returned to action.
Luke Shaw (MUN)
The English left-back has won over Solskjaer’s trust this season, starting for the Red Devis on a regular basis. With new signing Alex Telles out for an indefinite time due to Covid-19, Luke Shaw’s hamstring injury against Everton in early November would mean the club may have to start Brandon Williams at left-back.
Mohamed Salah (LIV)
It seems as if when one Liverpool player returns after recovering from Covid-19, another one is sidelined for two weeks due to the virus. Mohamed Salah tested positive for the virus 3 days ago while he was away to attend his brother’s wedding. He will miss at least 10 days of Premier League action.
Seamus Coleman (EVE)
Everton’s captain and first-choice right-back Seamus Coleman led from the front as Everton won their first 5 matches in the league. However, a hamstring injury in the Merseyside derby in October means he will miss Everton’s next few games.
Gabriel Martinelli (ARS)
The 19-year-old prodigy was ruled out until the start of 2021 with a knee injury picked up in training in June. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette both misfiring, Arsenal would have liked to have the young striker available for selection.
Virgil van Dijk (LIV)
Liverpool’s talismanic centre-back picked up a season-ending ACL injury in their 2-2 draw against Everton back in October. The 2019 Ballon d’Or runner-up is being missed in the Reds’ defense, as the team has only kept one clean sheet in the league this season.
Which player do you think will be missed the most?