Injuries to players are a part and parcel of competitive sports, more so in the case of a physical game like football.
In the modern era, football clubs take the utmost care to ensure that their key players are available in optimum condition for big games in various competitions and do not get burned out or injured while playing a 'less' important fixture.
Nevertheless, despite the meticulous arrangements in place, both clubs and international teams cannot totally eliminate the possibility of injuries afflicting their rosters.
Five big-name players who are currently out with long-term injuries
Injury-enforced absences of key players for significant durations are tough to deal with for the best of managers in the sport.
That is often because clubs formulate their game-plans around their best players. When these players get injured, more often than not, a like-for-like replacement is not readily available, which severely affects the clubs' performances.
On that note, let us have a look at five such big-name players, in no particular order, who are currently out of action with long-term injuries.
#5 Gabriel Martinelli
Gabriel Martinelli isn't yet a big-name player in the strictest sense of the term, but it would perhaps be an understatement to say that the Brazilian striker has impressed all and sundry since his arrival at Arsenal last summer.
The 19-year-old scored ten goals in 26 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners in his first season in English football. Belying his age, Martinelli has managed to grab eyeballs with his composure, flair, positional awareness, tactical intelligence and scoring ability.
After Martinelli epitomized all these attributes while scoring against Chelsea in the Premier League last season, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was all praise for the precocious teenager when he said in this regard:
“To be 18-years-old, doing what he’s doing. The goal against Chelsea alone, he runs from the edge of his box – a set-piece against his team – he takes it to the other end. “Normally, your legs are gone by then, you’ve got no energy and no juice in your legs, but he has the composure to slot it. Great player, but the awareness of the way he plays, the way he moves on the pitch, the intelligence to receive the ball, the positions he takes up. It’s mad. He’s a mature player for such a young kid.”
Soon after agreeing to a new contract with the club, Martinelli had to undergo surgery in June to repair a lesion in his knee cartilage.
Martinelli is expected to be back in action by the end of the year, and Arsenal cannot wait for that to happen soon enough,as he has become an integral player in Mikel Arteta's setup.
#4 Joshua Kimmich
Kimmich was so impressive in his new role that subsequent Bayern Munich managers have allowed him to flourish in that position.
The 25-year-old, who is versatile enough to be deployed in both an attacking or a defensive midfield role, creates goal-scoring opportunities galore for teammates while also scoring the occasional goal himself. Since arriving at the Bavarian giants in the summer of 2015, Kimmich has scored 27 goals and provided a whopping 64 assists in all competitions.
Kimmich started the new season in a rich vein of form, scoring thrice and assisting seven times in ten games before suffering a right meniscus tear during the first Bundesliga Der Klassiker of the season against Borussia Dortmund, a game Bayern won 3-2.
The diminutive midfielder underwent a successful surgery to his meniscus and is expected to be back in action by January 2021.