“Players can’t deal any more with this overload.”
Those are the rather foreboding words of Erik ten Hag as the Manchester United boss grapples with an ever-increasing injury list.
The Dutchman was speaking on the day his defender Lisandro Martinez was ruled out until the end of the year, bringing the total number of Red Devils’ injury absentees to eight.
But Ten Hag is not the only Premier League manager having to deal with a lengthy casualty list just six weeks into the new season.
According to PremierInjuries.com, England’s 20 top-flight sides currently have a combined 112 players out injured.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola thinks players should come together to try to force a change to the schedule.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe, Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta and Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino have also had their say on the issue, while Burnley’s Vincent Kompany feels he may have come up with a solution.
Chelsea top the injury league
Chelsea currently top the injury table, with the likes of Christopher Nkunku and Wesley Fofana out with serious knee injuries, Romeo Lavia sidelined with an ankle problem, and full-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell suffering from hamstring and thigh problems respectively. Their cause is further hampered by suspensions to Malo Gusto and Nicolas Jackson.
Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Newcastle all have nine players unavailable, including the likes of Harvey Barnes, Michael Olise and George Baldock.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is sweating on the fitness of as many as eight first-team players with Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice picking up injuries in the north London derby, William Saliba and Fabio Vieira suffering setbacks, Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard missing the 2-2 draw with Spurs and Jurrien Timber and Thomas Partey out with long-term injuries.
Champions Manchester City lost playmaker Kevin de Bruyne in their Premier League opener and 10 days ago Pep Guardiola said the club were “in trouble” due to their injury list, which is now easing.
At the other end of the table West Ham are only without Aaron Cresswell through injury, while Wolves‘ sole absentee, Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, is suspended.
|Premier League injury table
|Source: Premierinjuries.com – not including suspensions or disciplinary issues