Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri dealt fresh injury blow
(Getty Images - Rich Linley)

Liverpool's attacking options have been dealt a significant blow after it was confirmed that Xherdan Shaqiri faces a period of rehabilitation after returning to Melwood on Monday.

The Swiss international is still suffering from a calf tear that was sustained during the UEFA Nations League finals.

Fresh blow

Jurgen Klopp had already confirmed that Shaqiri would miss the upcoming warm-up games, including their inaugural pre-season clash against Tranmere Rovers on Thursday.

The setback means it's extremely unlikely that the forward will travel to the United States for the club tour that begins next week, with Liverpool prioritising his recovery in time for the end of the month. The European champions are hoping that the injury will not jeopardise Shaqiri's involvement towards the start of the new season.

It comes as a sour pill to swallow with Liverpool's attacking trident still on holiday/competing on international duty. Sadio Mane has inspired his national team Senegal all the way to the semi-finals of the AFCON whilst Mohamed Salah's elimination with Egypt from the tournament means the Red's top-scorer will begin his vacation plans.

Shaqiri would have been the ideal fit to begin preparations for the new season with the former Stoke City man having operated as a reliable replacement in the attack in the absences of the famed front three.

Opportunities for others to shine?

The unavailability of Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino does have some benefits to Liverpool with it presenting the perfect opportunity for Rhian Brewster to display his illustrious potential, while Divock Origi is also expected to sign a new deal following his return to training.

Teenager Brewster, 19, has yet to make a senior appearance for Liverpool despite featuring on the bench during the Champions League final and his exploits at England youth level including earning himself the Golden Ball in England U17's 2017 World Cup triumph made him one of the most talked-about youngsters in the UK.

Klopp's admiration of the academy prospect is no secret after immediately involving Brewster with the first-team despite sustaining a serious injury that kept him out of participation in football for the majority of 2018.

Brewster's undeniable potential has already culminated in him being seen as a natural replacement for the departed Daniel Sturridge.

It's also been confirmed that Firmino and Mane will not join the squad in the States, although there is hope for Salah to be involved at some stage. The final touring squad will be confirmed after Sunday's friendly with Bradford City. The Red's Egyptian King has been granted a three-week break following his AFCON duty but could still feature a small part in Liverpool's pre-season plans.

Instead of focussing on the team's elite and cemented first-team starters it grants Klopp an opportunity to focus his attention on potential youngsters who can be integrated into the club's plans for the upcoming campaign.

Harry Wilson and Ryan Kent have both enjoyed successful spells at Derby County and Rangers, respectively, and both clubs have made it clear they would like to re-sign the Red's duo for the 2019/20 season.

However, Liverpool are not prepared to listen to any offers as of yet as they want the pair as part of the travelling party in the USA before assessing whether they will fit into Klopp's plans ahead of the new campaign commencing in August.

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