Nathaniel Clyne has suffered a devastating injury that has destroyed his chances of securing a move to revive his career.
The Liverpool right back snapped his anterior cruciate ligament during the 3-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in South Bend last Friday. The scale of the damage was not initially obvious and he walked out the stadium with a bandage on his leg, having received a kick, but did not need crutches.
It emerged over the weekend, though, that the injury was much worse and he now faces a lay-off that could be as long as nine months. Liverpool, though, are cautiously hopefully he could be fit again within six months.
Crystal Palace had wanted to sign Clyne, the one-time England international, to replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson is a firm admirer of Clyne, who started his career at Selhurst Park, and the two clubs had held discussions though no fee had been agreed.
Now, however, Clyne faces an uncertain future. While Liverpool moved from Boston to New York, for their final friendly against Sporting Lisbon, Clyne flew back to England to start the long recovery process.
He will require surgery to correct the issue but no date has been set for when the operation will take place.
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool’s manager, admitted the news was devastating for Clyne, who had looked sharp in the games he played this summer.
Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com:
‘What can I say other than how gutted we all are for Clyney. He was training and playing so well – he was in outstanding shape.
‘Clearly an injury of this nature isn’t a happy moment for any player, but the silver lining for him is that, according to the medical guys, it’s a straightforward ACL injury. This means fixing it and coming back from it should follow a path that is free from pitfalls and complications.
‘At the moment there isn’t much more to say beyond we’ll all support Clyney in whatever way we can and we look forward to seeing him back on the pitch as soon as responsibly possible.
‘He is such a sound professional and is naturally very fit and strong, so all these things are in his favour.’
Liverpool are confident there will be no complications – Clyne has not suffered any damage to his cartilage or medial ligament, which should allow his rehabilitation to be relatively straightforward.
But, equally, there can be no disguising the enormity of the blow for Clyne, who has entered the final 12 months of the five-year deal he signed when joining from Southampton in 2015.
Even if he is fit again in six months, he would not be ready to move in the January transfer window.