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Jurgen Klopp handed timely boost as Liverpool have potential quadruple injury worry

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Diogo Jota is set for a spell on the sidelines for Liverpool while reports have suggested Mo Salah could not play against Luton Town.

Kaide Gordon is primed to return to Liverpool first-team duty for the Premier League clash against Luton Town tomorrow.

The Reds are facing an injury crisis that threatens to derail their title charge. Last Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Brentford was blighted by setbacks to Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez and Curtis Jones.

Jota was stretchered off in the first half with a knee injury, with manager Jurgen Klopp admitting the Portugal international’s issue was worse than Nunez and Jones’. But Liverpool could still be without all three against Luton, with Jones forced off before the interval and Nunez – who opened the scoring with a wonderful finish – another doubt.

Jota’s withdrawal meant that Mo Salah had to come on earlier than Klopp would have liked at Brentford. Liverpool’s talisman was included in the match-day squad after a four-week lay-off because of a hamstring injury sustained representing Egypt at the African Cup of Nations. Salah assisted Alexis Mac Allister’s goal for Liverpool to double their lead before netting his 19th of the season with a fine finish. However, it has been reported by Ahmed Shobair on Egyptian TV channel OnTime Sports that Salah sustained a recurrence of his issue and is likely to miss out against Luton. Klopp will give an update at his pre-match press conference.

Even if Salah is available, Liverpool will be short of options. Jota has already been ruled out while there remains a doubt around Nunez. Luis Diaz and Cody Gakpo, who scored off the bench at Brentford, are the other senior forwards Klopp can select from. Harvey Elliott is capable of playing out wide although Klopp will want more attacking firepower on the bench. Ben Doak, the 18-year-old highly-rated winger, has been sidelined since December after requiring knee surgery.

Yet Gordon is someone who Klopp and his coaching staff also have plenty of belief in. Signed from Derby County for a fee of up to £3 million three years ago, Gordon made four appearances as a 17-year-old in the 2021-22 campaign. He became Liverpool’s youngest FA Cup scorer aged 17 years and 96 days when netting in a 4-1 FA Cup win over Shrewsbury Town. He was also trusted to start in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium when Salah and Sadio Mane were at AFCON.

A complex pelvic issue linked to his physical growth meant Gordon did not make a single outing at any level in 2022-23. And this campaign, Liverpool were cautious with his playing return given the amount of time he was absent. Gordon made a return for the under-21s against Middlesbrough in September before making an outing for Klopp’s side in a 2-1 loss to Union SG in the Europa League in December in which he featured for 75 minutes. There was also a late substitute cameo in a 4-0 Premier League win over Bournemouth last month.

Since that outing, Gordon has played three times for the under-21s and has been in red-hot form. He recorded assists in wins over Fulham and Stoke City before netting a penalty in last weekend’s 2-1 win at Newcastle United.

Young Reds coach Barry Lewtas said after the Stoke win: “Kaide was brilliant. Just when I thought he was tiring towards the end of the game he made a massive run into the box to defend.

“He was sparkling out there! Listen, not to single anyone out because I thought we as a team were good, but he was brilliant first half in between the lines.

“The way we set up really suited him as well, just playing a little bit more inside the pitch and showing a different side to his game and dribbling centrally. His work-rate has been brilliant, we showed the lads a video of our game against Fulham and Kaide was doing similar things.”

Jarell Quansah and Conor Bradley have both made breakthroughs this season because of injuries. Gordon could well follow in their footsteps.

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