Former Arsenal physio sends stark injury warning that could last years

Former England and Arsenal physio Gary Lewin has warned the injury rates of Premier League players will only rise unless serious action is taken.

With football starting later this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic causing a break in the last campaign, fixtures are coming thick and fast.

International football has not slowed down either, with England and other countries playing six times in the past two months. Some of these games have even been friendlies.

Lewin believes the lack of a proper break is harming players. Liverpool are currently experiencing the worst of it with 14 injuries hitting the club this season. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk are all sidelined.

Nathan Ake for Manchester City is another who has been sidelined as Pep Guardiola is currently without 12 of his men.

“There is no proper break. The next three years is going to be very interesting," Lewin told The Sun.

“Questions need to be asked. As an industry, do we have a duty of care to our employees, the players?

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“Instead of fighting for their own piece of the pie, everyone needs to work out what’s best for the game.

“We are an entertainment business so if the quality of the entertainment drops, viewing figures will drop.”

On what needs to be done, Lewin explained: "The process starts with everyone coming together rather than individual decisions being made for individual competitions.

"My suggestion is to get stakeholders together – the  Premier League, EFL, the PFA, international representatives, TV companies and commercial stakeholders.

"The first step forward would be an international calendar, the second step would be amalgamating the cup competitions into the Premier League. Some input from the PFA is needed for the players’ welfare."

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