Liverpool FC News: LIVERPOOL will include Javier Mascherano in their squad to face Trabzonspor on Thursday provided he recovers from the injury he sustained against Arsenal.
Though Mascherano has made no secret of his desire to leave Anfield, the Reds – who will today tie up the formalities of a deal to sign Middlesbrough keeper Brad Jones – are determined to hang on to the captain of Argentina. Mascherano was outstanding in the 1-1 draw with the Gunners on Sunday but tweaked a muscle in his leg that forced him off during the latter stages.
However, the problem is understood not to be too serious and should he respond to further treatment in the next 48 hours, Mascherano will be involved in the first leg of the Europa League play-off tie with the Turkish side.
It is the clearest indication yet that Roy Hodgson is planning for future which includes Mascherano and the manager has gone on record several times in the last few days to stress how much he wants to keep him.
Hodgson feels the styles of Mascherano and new signing Christian Poulsen can compliment each other and has pointed that the Dane’s arrival does not mean the beginning of the end for the 26-year-old.
“I don’t want to let Javier go and at the moment he has shown no signs of going,” said Hodgson.
“I believe Javier Mascherano is going to play for us and I believe Christian Poulsen is going to play for us.
“We can have both players. This is a big club and a club with a lot of games to play this year hopefully.
“Christian is a quality player and we want quality players here.
“ He is a good passer and supporter. He will fit in nicely with the way we try to play.
“We try to play football through the midfield and Liverpool have always been a passing team; there is going to be no change to the style, whether it is me or someone else is manager.”
Hodgson will finally be able to welcome Jones into his squad after the 28-year-old passed a medical at the club’s Melwood training base last night to rubberstamp his switch from Teesside.
Liverpool first’s offer for the Australian international – who will be constitute one of the club’s seven home grown players because he has been in England since he was a teenager – was rebuffed 10 days ago but their latest bid of £2.3m was accepted. Jones has agreed personal terms on a three-year contract and he will make the deal official today when he puts his signature to the paperwork.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have confirmed they will not be contesting the red card Joe Cole received for the foul on Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny.
Hodgson had suggested after the game that Liverpool would consider their options but they have now decided not to take the matter further, which means Cole will miss games against Manchester City, West Brom and Birmingham.