Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been dealt a blow with the news that Glen Johnson is out of action until the New Year.
The club confirmed this morning that the England right-back will miss at least the next four weeks, which gives Rodgers further selection problems over a very busy Christmas and New Year period.
Johnson is one of the most experienced members of Rodgers’ first team squad and his absence places a greater strain on the resources Rodgers has available.
There’s now a lot of pressure on loan signing Javier Manquillo, with the club’s other right-back John Flanagan joining Johnson in the treatment room at Melwood.
Manquillo has made a decent start to life at Liverpool after moving from Atletico Madrid, but he’s going to be under a lot of pressure to play frequently over a very busy period.
The alternative for Rodgers is to move a player over to the right hand side of defence, who can cover the position though it may not be their natural role.
Someone like Kolo Toure has experience of playing at right-back though he doesn’t have the pace and zip to get up and down the flank he once possessed in his days at Arsenal and Manchester City.
There’s also the worry that if Rodgers moved Toure into that role to take some of the pressure away from Manquillo, he could become exposed by extremely quick players who could exploit his lack of pace.
Here’s what Liverpool fans on Twitter made of the news Johnson will be out for the next four weeks.
Liverpool FC (@LFCblogster) December 16, 2014
So good news for #Liverpool this morning...Glen Johnson is out for a month & Balotelli also injured. Rogers now forced to field a good team!— Holt Berry Ltd (@HoltBerry1) December 17, 2014
“@JamesPearceEcho: Glen Johnson facing a long lay-off after tearing his groin v United. Will miss entire festive" Some good news at last— Kolo Toure (@ThoseScouseLads) December 16, 2014
Glen Johnson injured and out for a month. Manquillo has got his chance to get into the team now— JATT LFC (@JATT_LFC) December 17, 2014
so Glen Johnson out for at least a month! defence reshuffle again. duno where Manquillo disappeared to last few games #LFC— Vishal Chawda (@vishalLFC) December 17, 2014
lm worried because johnson is better than manquillo..— Adams (@DatTall_BoY) December 17, 2014
Can, Sakho, Manquillo all will leave us while Imbeciles like Lovren, Johnson and Allen start every game— Ali (@LFCtalk098) December 17, 2014
Manquillo to shine