All teams suffer injuries at some stage during the season, but the severity of the injury is what could turn their season on it’s head. Here are five players who are attempting to put last season’s injuries woes behind them and move forward with their respective clubs.
Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)
The Bournemouth striker ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in September last year and following a six-month injury lay-off, returned for the Cherries against Aston Villa in April. Callum Wilson is one of Bournemouth’s key players and he had made an excellent start to life in the Premier League scoring five goals in six games, including a hat-trick against West Ham. Only Josh King (6) scored more league goals for Bournemouth last season. Considering how long he was injured for, that just highlights how important Wilson is to Eddie Howe’s side. Another boost for Bournemouth is that Wilson committed his future to the club in July by signing a new four-year deal. Bournemouth finished 16th last season, but if he had not been injured for the majority of that campaign they might have finished higher up the table. As they begin their second season in the top flight, Callum Wilson could be the difference between relegation and survival.
Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
After a difficult first season at Old Trafford, in which Louis Van Gaal deemed him unfit, Luke Shaw had a fantastic start to his second season at Manchester United. He looked sharper, more settled and had been in the starting 11 for all of Manchester United’s games. That was until the double leg break in September last year. The left-back suffered a broken tibia and fibula which ruled him out for the whole season. He returned to action for Manchester United in a friendly against Wigan in July and played the first 45 minutes. Shaw’s pace and width down the left was sorely missed by United last season and those attributes will be crucial as they aim to win the Premier League title for the first time since 2013. As soon as he is back to playing on a weekly basis, there is no doubt that Shaw will be challenging left-backs Ryan Bertrand and Danny Rose for a place in Sam Allardyce’s England team.
Max Gradel (Bournemouth)
Bournemouth had unbelievably bad luck with injuries last season. Max Gradel was another Bournemouth player to suffer a cruciate ligament injury (in August against Leicester City) and he was not in the side again until 2016. Gradel had only played three games for Bournemouth before the injury, which he had unfortunately suffered before in 2013 and the winger was a big loss for the newly promoted side. Since his February return in Bournemouth’s goalless draw against Watford, Gradel had been in and out of the starting line-up as boss Eddie Howe continues to monitor his fitness. Gradel has signed a new four-year deal with Bournemouth and should be like a new signing this season.
Danny Ings (Liverpool)
Four days after making his England debut, Danny Ings found himself ruled out for the rest of the season due to a cruciate ligament injury which occurred in his first training session with new manager Jurgen Klopp. He joined Liverpool for Burnley last season and had scored three goals in seven games for the Reds. Ings came on as a substitute in Liverpool’s final game last season against West Brom and has since scored twice in pre-season. Liverpool may have plenty of attacking options, but they do not have a first choice striker. Danny Ings could be the man to establish himself in that position during Jurgen Klopp first full season in charge at Anfield.
Tyrone Mings (Bournemouth)
It was a case of third time unlucky for Bournemouth last season in terms of serious injuries as Tyrone Mings suffered torn anterior and medial ligaments in his knee. This happened six minutes into his Premier League debut against Leicester City, the same match that Max Gradel suffered his cruciate ligament injury and unlike the others, Mings is yet to return for Bournemouth. The Bournemouth defender encountered a set back in April and is now not likely to return until September. Bournemouth are desperate to get him back to full fitness and as soon as that happens, the fans will see why the club splashed the cash and signed him for £8m.