Liverpool could unleash their secret weapon in the derby against Everton due to injury doubt

Injury doubts in midfield mean that Klopp could roll out his previously untested secret weapon.

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

With an injury doubt being revealed by Jurgen Klopp in Friday’s press conference and the confirmation of another player being in full team training, could we finally see Liverpool unveil their secret weapon against Everton?

Klopp revealed that Thiago has missed training with a hip issue this week, casting doubts over his availability for the game against Everton on Monday. However, he also confirmed that their Juventus loanee Arthur Melo has been in full team training this week.

Given that their midfield has run into constant issues on and off-the-pitch this season, a change in midfield would be a welcome one, especially when that change is someone who has experience for Brazil, Juventus and Barcelona.

Melo, 26, has only made one appearance so far this season due to an ongoing issue with a torn quadricep but has now returned to training after over four months out.

Granted, going from no gametime straight into a Merseyside derby seems unlikely, but if Thiago isn’t available, he may make the matchday squad and enjoy minutes off the bench. But what exactly would he bring?

For those who haven’t seen him play, his role is often as a deep-lying playmaker and he is someone who is always an option for a pass, playing the role of a midfield metronome. This is reflected in his stats: he ranks in the 95th percentiles for midfielders in Europe for passes attempted and passes competed.

Since Thiago is the midfielder who opts for that role, without him in the side that role could transfer to Melo. Whereas this game may come too soon for the Brazilian, in future games - providing he stays fit - he can switch in for Thiago, allowing for the Spainard to have adequate rest when possible, as we know he is a player who needs to be managed correctly due to his injury history.

The lack of midfield recruitment has seen Klopp being forced to use Thiago more than he would like, resulting in dips in performance, intensity and overall effectiveness. It also makes him more likely to get injured too. It’s something that happens to midfield as they age; Chelsea are in a similar position with N’Golo Kante where they have to manage him correctly, which usually means bringing him out mainly for the big games due to his quality and its a similar situation with Thiago.

Since Melo coming into the fray can help ease some of that for Thiago, his progressive passes and carries as well as tackles and block stats should mean Liverpool have another midfielder who can come in and feed their talented attack with incisive passes. Plus, his more pragmatic positioning means it can help solidify them in transition - which has been a real issue this season.