As the majority of football fans prepare to enter a time of mini-hibernation due to yet another international injury window, we look at the number of players that the top clubs have had to release for this “break”.



The Gunners have eight players involved in senior internationals during this break and they are:


sui  Granit Xhaka – Switzerland 
fra  Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Alexandre Lacazette – France 
wal  Aaron Ramsey – Wales 
nga  Alex Iwobi – Nigeria 
ger  Mesut Özil – Germany 
egy  Mohamed Elneny – Egypt 

Of these eight players only ONE is taking part in a World Cup qualifier. The others are risking injury in FRIENDLIES!



The Blues have twelve players away on international duty although not all of them are expected to start for their countries. They are:


ita  Davide Zappacosta – Italy 
den  Andreas Christensen – Denmark 
bel  Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi – Belgium 
bra  Willian – Brazil 
eng  Gary Cahill, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham – England 
ger  Antonio Rüdiger – Germany 
esp  Álvaro Morata – Spain 
wal  Ethan Ampadu – Wales

Of these twelve only Zappacosta and Christensen are taking part in meaningful games as they ar involved in World Cup qualifiers.

The rest will be playing in pointless friendlies arranged at a time of year when the club can ill afford any injuries. The chances, however, are reasonably high that at least one player will be injured purely because so many are involved.



Jürgen Klopp has a few away on international duty as well and it is quite a diverse mix. They are:


eng  Joe Gomez – England 
bra  Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho – Brazil 
bel  Simon Mignolet and Divock Origi – Belgium 
ger  Emre Can – Germany 
sen  Sadio Mané – Senegal 
cro  Dejan Lovren – Croatia 
srb  Marko Grujic – Serbia 
wal  Danny Ward and Ben Woodburn – Wales 
sco  Andy Robertson – Scotland 
esp  Alberto Moreno – Spain 
ned  Georginio Wijnaldum – The Netherlands

These are the fourteen players Liverpool must release to their national teams and, to our limited knowledge, NONE of them are playing in anything more important than a friendly.


Manchester City

As is always the case, City’s training ground has been decimated for the next two weeks with the exception of the players who have pulled out of this idiotic round of international fixtures through “injury”.

eng  Kyle Walker and John Stones – England 
bra  Ederson, Gabriel Jesus, Danilo and Fernandinho – Brazil 
arg  Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Agüero – Argentina 
ger  Ilkay Gündoğan and Leroy Sané – Germany 
bel  Kevin De Bruyne – Belgium 
por  Bernardo Silva – Portugal 
esp  David Silva – Spain

These thirteen players will run the risk of injury and, again, not one of them will be involved in a competitive game. They are all friendlies.


Manchester United

At least a couple of United players get to play in a World Cup play-off when Italy meet Sweden, so that isn’t quite as big a waste of time as the friendlies, but the rest don’t. Here’s the list with the lucky ones at the top:

ita  Matteo Darmian – Italy 
swe  Victor Lindelof – Sweden 
arm  Henrikh Mikhitaryan – Armenia 
ned  Daley Blind and Timothy Fosu-Mensah – The Netherlands 
bel  Romelu Lukaku – Belgium 
eng  Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford – England 
fra  Anthony Martial – France 
arg  Sergio Romero – Argentina 
esp  David De Gea – Spain

So United send thirteen players away and will, hopefully, get them all back in the same condition as when they left.


Tottenham Hotspur

Another diverse bunch who will be travelling all over the place unless they are English, in which case they will be playing the two least important home games of the season. Here’s the list in full:


col  Davinson Sánchez – Colombia 
kor  Heung-Min Son – South Korea 
bel  Mousa Dembélé and Jan Vertonghen – Belgium 
den  Christian Eriksen – Denmark 
wal  Ben Davies – Wales 
eng  Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose and Eric Dier – England

Spurs, like Manchester City, also have a small group of players, crucial to their title challenge, who have acquired mysterious injuries resulting in the cancellation of their international participation.

All in all the top six Premier League clubs will provide 69 players to a total of 23 different countries and this doesn’t take into account all the other internationals at the different age levels!

Had these games been arranged at a more sensible time of year the number of players would probably be nearer to 90, but they would have been released with a lot less reticence.

So the fans of all clubs who have players involved in these meaningless internationals will sit with fingers crossed that none return injured. Some will watch the games, some couldn’t care less and will do anything but.

It also seems a little strange that TV companies, such as Sky and BT who can have games moved on a whim, are powerless to do anything about these international breaks which clearly do neither of them any good.

It is about time the fans were deemed a little more important than they are at present. Why should they run the risk of being deprived of seeing their favourite player because he has been injured in a nothing game for his country?

Let us know your thoughts below.





  1. Alex Iwobi is an Nigerian and not Ivorian. You got the country badge wrong.


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