Don't expect to see too much from Liverpool defender this season

Anfield

The right-back is now hoping to put a difficult year behind him

Martin Kelly has had the makings of being impressive defender since making his Liverpool debut in 2008, but like on his first start for the club against Lyon in 2009 and throughout his career at Anfield, he has had rotten luck with injuries.

Though he started off as a centre-half, during his time in the first team he has become quite an accomplished right-back.

The latest was a cruciate knee injury last season which has kept him out of action for the best part of a year. He may have had the odd torn muscle, but this was by far the most serious. Luckily, at 23, age remains on his side.

In his substitute appearance against PSV Eindhoven in 2008 we didn’t see much of him, but when he next appeared he put in a solid performance, and contributed to what should have been a second goal had Fabio Aurelio headed his delightful cross to a place that was away from the goalkeeper.

He would be blighted by injury that day, but there was promise. He has shown consistently… he is a solid defender, a good tackler, knows how to stand up to his opponent and hasn’t been shy to get forward.

His attitude has been commendable, he hasn’t tried to rush himself back into the first team, but as soon as he is fit enough to return he will become an important part of the squad. Though he won’t be first choice in that position, he will offer some decent cover for Glen Johnson – who is also recovering from injury himself – and you can also add him to the fairly long list of players who can now play at centre-half.

But fans must be patient for when Kelly returns to competitive action again, he is bound to look ring-rusty but the last thing he will need are people murmuring over whether ‘he’s the same’ after the injury. You wouldn’t expect miracles from him at the best of times, so no-one should expect fireworks upon his return.

image: © Sanjiva

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch