Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne has yet to make an appearance so far this season, and reports claim it might be a while yet before he returns.
A troublesome back injury has kept the 26-year-old sidelined since the summer, and while Jurgen Klopp has managed to find short-term solutions at right-back, in an ideal world the Liverpool boss would want Clyne back available and fit as soon as possible.
However, based on the tweet below from Anfield HQ, which takes the update from Neil Jones of the Liverpool Echo, it would appear as though the England international has suffered a setback and will have to push his return date further back.
Nathaniel Clyne is no closer to a return having suffered a setback in his recovery from a back injury. (Neil Jones – Echo)
— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) November 6, 2017
In the short-term, it’s a huge blow for Liverpool. The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez have been deployed at right back this season, but that hasn’t been able to prevent the Reds from conceding 17 goals in 11 Premier League games.
While that’s not to suggest all their problems emerge from the right side, they would undoubtedly much prefer to have a full-strength backline.
Further, it also damages Clyne’s hopes of making the England squad for the World Cup in Russia next summer. Having spent such a long period out of action, he’ll have to prove his fitness in the second half of the season to show Gareth Southgate that he can be a reliable presence in the squad.
However, that also depends on whether or not he can successfully put the back injury behind him in the coming months with the festive period fast approaching.