Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp accused England’s Football Association of treating Jordan Rossiter “like a horse” on Wednesday after the midfielder returned from England Under-19 duty with a hamstring injury.
“These young players are our future. If we handle them like horses, we get horses,” Klopp told a press conference ahead of his side’s Europa League home game against Rubin Kazan on Thursday.
“Rossiter is a special story. I never heard of an 18-year-old playing three games in five days. That is the problem why he is injured and I don’t think he will be ready until the next international break.
“I don’t know who I have to talk to about this, but I will find a way because it is not OK. On my first day I didn’t want to have a call with someone with the FA, but for sure this is not OK.”
Rossiter is the latest member of Liverpool’s squad to succumb to injury, complicating Klopp’s preparations for his first home game since succeeding Brendan Rodgers as manager.
Striker Danny Ings and young defender Joe Gomez recently underwent surgery on anterior cruciate ligament injuries, while captain Jordan Henderson (foot) and full-back Jon Flanagan (knee) are long-term absentees.
Injury-plagued striker Daniel Sturridge missed Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur after hurting his knee in training and Klopp said that he would be rested for the Rubin game with a view to Sunday’s visit of Southampton in the Premier League.
“Sturridge is getting better and better,” Klopp said. “Yesterday (Tuesday) he was outside for the first time since Saturday. It was OK and the target for him is Sunday, for sure. That’s what we’ll try to do.”
However, Klopp had more positive news about centre-back Dejan Lovren (ankle) and forwards Roberto Firmino (back) and Christian Benteke (hamstring), all of whom are in contention to play on Thursday.
“We have three players back in training a – Benteke, Firmino and Lovren,” said the German.
“That’s good, more options. Not really starting options, but for the squad. Yesterday they joined team training and it was OK.”