Midfielder ruled out of opening league clash between Liverpool and Arsenal - report
By Dominic Toner
Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva will miss the start of the Premier League season, according to a report.
The Brazilian sustained an injury during a pre-season match against Huddersfield and is now set to miss the opening league clash against Arsenal on 14 August at Emirates Stadium.
The Echo report that the 29-year-old has picked up a hamstring injury which could see him sidelined for up to a month as he joins defenders Joe Gomez and Mamadou Sakho on Liverpool’s injury list.
Liverpool’s opposition for the Premier League curtainraiser are also struggling with injuries and could be without five senior players including Copa America winner Alexis Sanchez.
Lucas has made over 300 appearances in a Liverpool shirt and his most successful season to date came in the 2010-11 season when he was named the club’s player of the year.
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The midfielder, who has just one year remaining on his Anfield contract, is Liverpool’s longest-serving player after he was signed for the Merseyside giants by Rafael Benitiez in 2007 from Gremio.
Last season he started just eight times in the league after the turn of the year and his match time was restricted with Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Emre Can and Joe Allen all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could be left with limited options in central midfield for the season opener as Stoke are closing in on a £13million deal for Welshman Joe Allen.
The latest addition to the squad £25million Georginio Wijnaldum could be used in a deeper role if needed after Klopp admitted that the Dutchman could play in several positions.
In other Liverpool team news, Klopp has highlighted the three youngster who have impressed him during pre-season.