English Premier League: 10 Most Significant Injuries of the EPL Season so Far
Injuries to certain players can completely define a season.
They can leave a team without their best attacking option, their most creative player in midfield or their stalwart in defense, and as a result, can take away title aspirations or leave a team in the dreaded relegation zone.
Whilst we don't yet know how significant certain injuries will be until we reflect back on them, the English Premier League has already played host to a number of injuries right across the league.
Which ones have been the most significant of the year, so far?
Read on to find out.
10. Fabio Borini, Liverpool
Fabio Borini was brought in to Liverpool over the summer transfer window to give Brendan Rodgers some much-needed strike power up front, but it seems they will have to wait until after Christmas before Borini will be healthy from his foot operation (per the Daily Mail).
The Reds have found new attacking talent in the likes of Raheem Sterling, but for a club that had European aspirations at the start of the season and got rid of their marquee striker in Andy Carroll, the loss of Borini is, no doubt, one of the more significant ones this season.
9. Sergio Aguero, Manchester City
Whenever you lose your best striker and goal-scoring options, it's a big deal. When you lose them in the opening game of the season for four weeks of football, it's an even bigger deal—the case for Manchester City and striker Sergio Aguero.
Aguero suffered a knee injury in the Citizens' opening match of the year (per The Guardian), and whilst they didn't suffer any defeats in his absence, the defending champions did drop points to both Liverpool and Stoke City.
Just how important those four points could turn out to be still remains to be seen, but if the title race is as close as last season, then Aguero's injury is pretty significant.
8. Shinji Kagawa, Manchester United
Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa was recently ruled out for three to four weeks with a knee injury (per Sky Sports)—a huge blow for the Red Devils given his attacking prowess, but particularly considering the matches that United have in that time.
They play Premier League matches against Chelsea, Arsenal and two tricky away fixtures to Aston Villa and Norwich City, a Capital One Cup tie against Chelsea as well as Champions League group stage matches which would ensure their progression through to the knockout stages of the competition.
The loss of Kagawa is a huge blow to United's attack, which has been lethal, so far, this season, and his absence was easily seen in their recent win against the Blues.
7. Ricardo Vaz Te, West Ham
According to The Daily Mail, West Ham striker Ricardo Vaz Te will be out of action until after Christmas after surgery was required on his dislocated shoulder.
The Hammers have been strong this season since being promoted to the English Premier League but are yet to play any of the league's top sides—matches that will give a better assessment of just how Sam Allardyce's team are traveling this year.
It is unlikely that the London club will be in a relegation battle this season, but the presence of Vaz Te is certainly a helpful addition in their chances at moving up the Premier League ladder and establishing themselves in the top class for several years to come.
Anytime a club loses one of their best attacking options, it's a significant injury—especially if they don't have a whole lot of options to choose from.
6. Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has spent six weeks on the sidelines after sustaining an injury in the Gunners' big win over Southampton (per The Daily Mail), and whilst his presence might not have been felt, he was still sourly missed by the North London club.
Replacement goalkeeper Vito Mannone was excellent in filling in for the Polish international whilst he recovered from his injury, but the fact remains that the Gunners were without their No. 1 goalkeeper and one of the best young keepers in world football.
It might not have seemed like it, but this was a very significant injury for the Gunners—made to look better than it was by the fact they covered his absence well.
5. Nemanja Vidic, Manchester United
When Manchester United lost captain and star defender Nemanja Vidic to a knee injury last season, many viewed that as the moment that they lost their chances in both the UEFA Champions League and the English Premier League.
Now, United are without the Serbian international until close to Christmas (per BBC Sport), with the 31-year-old Vidic requiring surgery on his troublesome knees—an injury that will, no doubt, have an impact on the Red Devils' already shaky defense.
The Manchester club have already lost several other backup options this season to various injuries; perhaps, making the loss of Vidic an even bigger loss than it truly is.
How United cover the absence of their skipper will, no doubt, define their chances in both the European and English competitions again this season.
4. Gaston Ramirez, Southampton
For newly promoted Southampton to net a £12 million rated striker in the summer transfer window, it was a huge deal for the Saints and for the Premier League in general.
Have a guess then just how big of a deal it is for the Saints to lose Gaston Ramirez for six weeks as he recovers from a dead leg and subsequent swelling of the thigh (per The Daily Mail).
Southampton currently sit second last on the league table and are yet to win a game since the Uruguayan international suffered his injury.
Talk about significant.
3. Demba Ba, Newcastle United
Newcastle United are anxiously waiting news on whether or not star striker Demba Ba will spend any time on the sidelines after suffering a shin injury in the Magpies' injury-time win against West Bromwich Albion on the weekend.
Sky Sports reports that the matter is still unclear, and if the Toon to have to spend time without their best attacking option, it will, no doubt, be a huge blow for their chances at finishing in the top four this season and achieving European qualification in the process.
Ba is currently the leading goalscorer in the Premier League.
2. Michael Vorm, Swansea City
Swansea City started the season in sensational fashion but have started to slip down the Premier League ladder since then—falling into the bottom half of the table now, with their prospects for the season starting to look grim.
Goalkeeper Michael Vorm is confirmed as being out of action until after Christmas due to a groin injury he suffered in the Swans' recent loss to Manchester City (per BBC Sport).
The 29-year-old Dutch international is one of the more underrated goalkeepers in the league and has proven to be an integral part of this Swansea side—saving them on many occasions and keeping in matches they would have otherwise lost.
Definitely a significant loss—just how significant it will turn out to be for Swansea still remains to be seen.
1. Micah Richards, Manchester City
But, the most significant injury of the Premier League season, so far, falls on Manchester City, who are fearing the worst for defender Micah Richards, who faces surgery to repair a knee injury he suffered against Swansea City last weekend.
According to The Telegraph, Richards is likely to spend two months on the sidelines following surgery, and given the critical Champions League and Premier Legaue matches that City have in that time period, the loss of their star defender is a bitter blow for the reigning English champions.
Couple that with the fact that City defenders Aleksandar Kolarov, Maicon and Pablo Zabaleta are all also believed to be suffering injuries (per The Daily Mail), and the loss of Richards is a huge loss for Roberto Mancini's side—easily the most significant injury of the Premier League season so far.
What's the most significant injury of the EPL season, so far?