Liverpool make key addition to help the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara

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Premier League leaders Liverpool have confirmed the appointment of Dr Andreas Schlumberger as the club’s head of recovery and performance. The newly-created role will see the German work behind the scenes at the Merseyside outfit, liaising with performance and medical leaders to help aid players in their efforts to return to fitness after injury.

Schlumberger has joined Liverpool from Bundesliga side Schalke, where he spent just under a year as the German club’s head of fitness and prevention.

He has previously worked with Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund before spending time at Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Liverpool are currently suffering with a number of high-profile injuries, with star defender Virgil van Dijk and summer signing Thiago Alcantara among those sidelined.

The former ruptured his left anterior cruciate ligament during the fiery Merseyside derby at Goodison Park back in October, while Thiago was injured in the same match, being left in a heap on the turf after a crunching foul by Richarlison during the closing stages.

England centre-back Joe Gomez also remains unavailable for Klopp’s side after suffering a severe knee injury while on international duty earlier in the season.

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More recently, Joel Matip picked up an adductor problem during the draw against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, while Naby Keita is expected to miss an unspecified amount of action after being struck with a muscular issue of his own.

Klopp praised his backroom staff earlier this month for helping the club to cope with their injury crisis, singling out elite development coach Victor Matos for his insight into the academy players waiting to make the step up to senior level.

“We employed Vitor, not because the academy wasn’t working as well as we wished but because we needed a connecting point,” Klopp told Sky Sports.

“Pep [Lijnders] was doing that too but first-team coach is a big job; we needed someone in that development coach role who knows both sides and Vitor is doing an incredible job.

“When we had our first struggle with the centre-halves, he suggested Rhys [Williams].

“It helps to have someone with a proper eye on the academy and someone who knows what we need in a crisis.”

Liverpool appear to be on course to defend last season’s Premier League title win, with the Reds leading the way at the top of the table, three points clear of second-placed Leicester City.

Klopp’s men will be hoping for a return to winning ways against Newcastle United on Wednesday evening after they were held to a draw by Sam Allardyce’s West Brom last time out.

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