Most football fans dislike the international break as it brings a pause to the intense league actions across Europe, but for club managers, it runs deeper than that.
The international breaks can be a nightmare for club managers as players are always at the risk of reporting back with injuries, which will rightly disrupt plans and strategies.
Expectedly, many premier league stars are now doubtful for their club’s weekend fixtures after picking up injuries during national assignments and here is a list of some of the players who are at the risk of missing out.
Romelu Lukaku: (Chelsea/Belgium)
Chelsea’s record signing has revealed after Belgium’s win against Czech that he is still struggling with a ‘minor injury’ that will require a scan before he returns to Chelsea later this week.
The 28-year-old has featured twice for Belgium during the international break, scoring 4 goals.
After finding the net twice against Czech, he stated in a post match interview; “l’ll have a scan of my thigh first. I have been struggling with a minor issue for a while. And then I will return to Chelsea.”
Lukaku’s availability for Chelsea’s premier league clash against Aston Villa on Saturday is doubtful if the scans reveal a major injury.
Kai Havertz: (Chelsea/Germany)
After featuring for Germany against Liechtenstein, Havertz missed the win over Armenia after being down with ‘flu-like symptoms’.
He is doubtful for Germany’s next game against Iceland and might take some days to recover full match fitness.
Harvey Elliot: (Liverpool/England U-21)
The Liverpool youngster has pulled out from England’s U21 squad for their European Championship qualifier against Kosovo after sustaining an injury in training.
Elliot has returned to Liverpool as a result of the injury and is expected to miss the Reds premier league fixture against Leeds United at Elland Road.
Takumi Minamino: (Liverpool/Japan)
The Liverpool attacker who had been expected to play a prominent role for Japan in the World Cup Qualifiers against Oman and China has been released from camp after picking up an injury during training.
“Midfielder Takumi Minamino (Liverpool FC) has been withdrawn from the team due to an injury at SAMURAI BLUE, which is active for the Asian final qualifying (Road to Qatar) China national team match. We will inform you of additional convened players to replace Minamino as soon as they are decided”, an official statement from the Country’s football body read.
Aymeric Laporte: (Manchester City/Spain)
The Manchester City centre back was forced off during Spain’s world cup qualifier with Georgia on Sunday night with a suspected adductor injury.
Though Spain’s Coach Luis Enrique has played down the severity of the injury, Laporte is set to miss Spain’s midweek clash against Kosovo.
Jack Steffens: Manchester City/ USA
Manchester City’s second choice goalkeeper has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 while on international duty with USA.
A statement released by US Soccer read: “U.S. Soccer has confirmed that goalkeeper Zack Steffen has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not travel to Honduras for the U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup Qualifier on Sept. 8 in San Pedro Sula. He will be replaced on the roster by Sean Johnson.
“Steffen’s positive result was confirmed through rigorous serial testing in accordance with U.S. Soccer’s COVID-19 protocols”
Jadon Sancho: (Manchester United/England)
Manchester United’s record signing pulled out of international duty for England because of a ‘minor knock’
The 21-year-old missed England’s world cup qualifier wins over Hungary and Andorra after being hurt in training.
Despite the setback, an official statement from England disclosed that Sancho is ‘expected to recover in time’ for the Manchester United’s clash against Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
Seamus Coleman: (Everton/Ireland)
The Everton full-back picked up a thigh injury in Ireland’s draw with Azerbaijan and is expected to spend some weeks on the sidelines.
A Football Association of Ireland statement read: “Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman will miss the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifier against Serbia due to injury.
The Ireland skipper suffered an injury during the 1-1 draw against Azerbaijan and will miss the match at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, September 7.”