Liverpool full-back Nathaniel Clyne has travelled with the Reds to Porto for the team’s round of 16 tie. Clyne has missed the entire season through injury, but has been included in Jurgen Klopp’s 25-man team.
According to the ECHO, there is little to no chance Clyne will appear in the fixture. He is expected to return to match play in March.
With the Champions League tie with Porto extremely important to Liverpool’s progression in the tournament, Klopp has ruled out using the England international.
“I’m not 100% sure with Clyney, he is still not in team training but he is as close as he has been since the summer,” Klopp recently said.
“He’s on a really good way, close to being back in team training but, how you can imagine, when you are that long out then it will probably take quite a while to be ready to play.
“I think we need to at least go one round further so that Clyney can be involved, there’s no chance for him in the next round against Porto. I hope he will make an impact.”
The full-back suffered an injury during preseason, but didn’t undergo surgery until December.
The 26-year-old has missed 37 matches this season due to a back injury. Clyne was expected to return in the middle of February, but has not been cleared fit enough to resume full training.
It looks likely that his injury will prevent him from making the England World Cup squad for Russia 2018. There is still a chance he could return and impress manager Gareth Southgate in time.
Liverpool play Porto on Wednesday night and will play the return leg at Anfield on March 6th.
With Clyne missing through injury, Klopp has called upon rookie Trent Alexandre-Arnold this season to fill in for the Liverpool No. 2. Alexandre-Arnold’s rapid improvement could keep Clyne on the bench even when he is fit to return.
Liverpool fans: Do you think Nathaniel Clyne’s absences has been one of the reasons the defence has let in so many goals this term?