Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted Adam Lallana still had a role to play for the Premier League leaders despite the midfielder’s injury woes.
Lallana, 30, only made three starts in all competitions last season, and he has managed that same number so far this campaign.
He missed Liverpool’s FA Cup defeat at Wolves on Monday after another injury, although he may be back available later this month.
Amid speculation Lallana could be set for an Anfield exit, Klopp said the 34-time England international was still needed at Liverpool.
“It’s brilliant to have him around as he can cool games down, he can be creative between the lines, he still has speed and all these things,” he said, via the Liverpool Echo.
“It’s not cool to lose him in a session, we didn’t have many training injuries this season. He stretched to get the ball and it happened. Nothing else to say about it.
“Could he be in a better place mentally? Yes, if he was playing and had scored 20 goals in the last 10 games.
“But everything is fine. Adam knows that we need him.”
Ahead of a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, Liverpool are four points clear at the top, although they are coming off back-to-back defeats.